Hearty congratulations are in order for WaterSense on reaching its milestone tenth anniversary. When I noticed this bit of news, my first reaction was to re-read the notice, as I thought to myself, “No. The WaterSense program has been around much longer than that!”
I wasn’t by any means diluting the great achievement of an environmental protection program existing – and growing – for 10 years. My reaction came more from my amazement that WaterSense has accomplished so much in such a short period of time. Here are just a few facts from WaterSense’s ten-year history that may have you reacting the same way I did:
- 1.5 trillion gallons: Water that WaterSense has helped Americans save to date
- $32.6 billion: Savings WaterSense has helped Americans realize in water and energy costs
- 212 billion kilowatt hours: energy savings through WaterSense products and programs
- 78 million metric tons: reduction in greenhouse emissions thanks to WaterSense
- 1,700: total number of organizational partners (with American Water proud to be among them!)
- 16,000: total number of WaterSense-labeled products/models
To put all this data in perspective, over a 10-year span WaterSense has: saved enough water to supply every household in the state of California for an entire year… saved enough energy to supply 19.4 million homes for a year… and achieved as much to fighting global warming as would planting 2 billion trees!
“Impressive” doesn’t even begin to define the impact WaterSense has made. However, equally as important is that the program is not a one-trick-pony. That is, its leaders and partners are not just focused on creating and selling water-saving products. While making such products readily available does lie at the heart of the WaterSense mission, so do dynamics that make WaterSense a true, nationwide movement.
These include a dedication to awareness and education, training professionals ranging from landscapers to industrial engineers so they can inspire their clients to be water smart, and mobilizing communities through campaigns such as “We’re for Water.” Their tactics also include motivating participation by advocating for rewards including product rebates and partner of the year awards. Moreover, WaterSense is an “equal opportunity movement,” embracing everyone from private individuals and governments, to mom-and-pop stores and industrial-sized corporations.
By defining roles for all types of people, businesses and industries, as well as by creating a diversity of ways people can get involved and make an impact, WaterSense has taken what began as a grassroots initiative in 2006 and nurtured it into a nationwide movement on a path for continued success. Our country is, indeed, greener on several levels thanks to the WaterSense program!