Water Smart 2000 – a joint public outreach effort of Texas water agencies and water associations including AWBD – has been awarded the 2000 Texas Water Conservation & Reuse Award by the Texas Section of the American Water Works Association (AWWA).
The award recognizes positive steps to conserve and reuse water in Texas. Water Smart won in the nonutility indirect program category, which covers education or demonstration projects for which results may not be measured in quantified terms.
“We delighted for the Program to receive this recognition,” said Margaret Cox, Chair of the AWBD Water Smart Steering Committee. “AWBD was one of the first to join in this important effort. We feel our contribution, especially our leadership and promotion of the program, have contributed both to its success and to this important award.”
AWBD has been a part of Water Smart since its inception in the Fall of 1998. At this year’s Annual Conference, AWBD will present the first Water Smart Partners awards to districts who have been on “the leading edge of water conservation efforts.”
To receive recognition as an AWBD Water Smart Partner, districts had to complete an application that documented the steps and strategies taken to implement the Water Smart Program. The application period covered an entire year: May 1, 2000 – April 30, 2001.
The application for the 2002 Water Smart Partners is available now. See this issue of the Journal, check out the website or pick one up from a member of the Steering Committee at the Annual Conference. There will be a special display in the Exhibitors Area devoted to the AWBD Water Smart Program. The Committee promises plenty of “freebies” and prizes to be won.
AWWA’s award to Water Smart 2000 was announced in late April. The award-winning statewide water conservation campaign was launched June 1, 2000,with the goal of helping small utilities educate their consumers about efficient water use and stave off water outages during periods of high heat and low rainfall. TNRCC Commissioner John Baker explained the importance of the program.
“As temperatures soar and rainfall diminishes, the more than 4,500 community water systems serving Texans face real problems in keeping up with demand. This outreach effort is designed to help utilities educate their consumers about the need for efficient water use, especially in drought conditions. The resources provided by Water Smart are invaluable for the vast numbers of small systems, which lack public information tools and staffs.”
The centerpiece of the Water Smart 2000 effort is a toolkit of resources utilities can use to inform their customers about the workings and limitations of water systems. Materials in the toolkit include plain language brochures on outdoor and indoor water use, facts about how a water system operates and tips for using water more efficiently, both inside and outside the home.
Water Smart is a joint initiative of TNRCC and the Texas Water Development Board. Other partners in addition to AWBD include the Independent Water and Sewer Companies of Texas, Texas Municipal League, Texas Rural Water Association, Texas Section, AWWA, Texas Water Conservation Association and the Texas Water Utilities Association.
For information about Water Smart, contact Margaret Cox, Chair, or any member of the Water Smart Steering Committee through the AWBD Office or by e-mail. Check the website for addresses.