EPA Names First WaterSense Partners of the Year

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is recognizing the first WaterSense Partners of the Year, who have encouraged Americans to tap into their water resources wisely over the last year.

"EPA commends these partners for being blue-ribbon winners in water efficiency," said Benjamin H. Grumbles, EPA's assistant administrator for water. "These water stars are helping WaterSense transform the way Americans view and value our most precious liquid asset and, as a result, we are saving more and wasting less for future generations."

While EPA's WaterSense program depends on the efforts of more than 1,000 partners, these four exceptional partners earned this special distinction from EPA:

•Promotional Partner of the Year: The Saving Water Partnership

•Manufacturer Partner of the Year: Kohler Co.

•Retailer and Distributor Partner of the Year: Ferguson

•Irrigation Partner of the Year: Timothy Malooly of Shorewood, Minn.

The Saving Water Partnership is a collaboration between Seattle Public Utilities and 17 participating local water utilities. Kohler Co. is a leading bathroom and kitchen product manufacturer. Ferguson is one of the country's largest wholesale distributors of plumbing supplies. Timothy Malooly is a WaterSense irrigation partner and president of two Minnesota-based irrigation firms: Irrigation Consultants & Control and Irrigation By Design.

The 2008 Partners of the Year helped advance the WaterSense mission through a range of activities demonstrating creativity and collaboration and promoting water efficiency from New York City's Times Square to the Minnesota Zoological Garden. Three of the winning organizations have also worked together to educate plumbers and consumers on the benefits of WaterSense labeled products.

WaterSense, a partnership program launched in 2006 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, seeks to protect the future of our nation's water supply by offering people a simple way to use less water.

The first WaterSense Partner of the Year awards are being presented at the WaterSmart Innovations Conference and Exposition in Las Vegas, Nev., the first national water-efficiency conference for an interdisciplinary audience.

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