News story

Winners of the 2014 UK Water Efficiency Awards announced

The Environment Agency and Waterwise recognises businesses and organisations going the extra mile to save water.

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The UK Water Efficiency Award winners range from large scale behaviour change campaigns to individual SME initiatives which have reduced water use by up to 80 per cent. They demonstrate how organisations which save water can help to provide the conditions for both economic growth and healthier communities, at the same time as cutting costs, protecting the environment and reducing carbon emissions.

Trevor Bishop, Deputy Director of Water Resources at the Environment Agency, said:

There are enormous savings – both financial and environmental – to be made by saving water. Those businesses implementing water efficiency measures will be better prepared for future pressures such as climate and population change. They are also helping to maintain our well-being and prosperity. I would like to congratulate all those who took part. We hope that these examples provide inspiration to others, encouraging them to protect water by investing in water management improvements.

Jacob Tompkins, Waterwise’s Managing Director, said:

Despite heavy rain over recent months, these award entries show that companies are taking a long term view and constantly improving their water management. This means that they will be better prepared for droughts and floods. Innovation and education need to be at the heart of efforts to reduce water use. At Waterwise we’re always happy to work with organisations to unlock this potential. We’re even happier when they seize on these opportunities themselves.

The categories and winners are:

Farming and Horticulture

Broughgammon Farm, winner of the award for farming and horticulture, has embraced water saving at all levels of its business. Washing machines, outside taps and toilets are all supplied by rainwater harvesting tanks. Staff are encouraged to save water wherever possible and the farm showcases best practice of water management to others in the farming community. As a result of its efforts Broughgammon Farm has increased its resilience to extreme weather and water shortages in the future.

Runner-up in the farming and horticulture sector is Source of Business (part of South West Water). The project developed PAPA Pumps which transfer water from natural water courses to farms and other water users. Powered by natural flowing water, they provide continuous carbon neutral pumping, with no operating costs. The system saves South West Water £257 per mega litre in treatment costs and 40kg of carbon. The system is also helping to improve water quality by keeping livestock away from watercourses.

Built Environment

Winner of the built environment award was H2Eco, a large-scale retrofit project by Essex & Suffolk Water. In partnership with housing associations, the project provides plumbers free of charge to fit water saving products in participants’ homes and properties. To date it has delivered 14,999 water efficiency retrofit audits resulting in water savings of 22 litres on average per property per day. In total the project saves customers £250,480 a year. Having previously won this award in 2012, the judges felt that the H2Eco project was deserving of the 2014 award for its continued impact and legacy for customers.

Runner-up in the build environment category was EcoFIT, a project by Northumbrian Water which has delivered 4,555 retrofit water audits, saving 183,931 litres per day, equating to an average measured saving of 40.38 litres per day for each participating property. As a result, Northumbrian Water customers saved an average of £40.57 a year on their water and sewerage bill.

Research and Evaluation

The Energy Savings Trust won the research and evaluation award with its ‘At Home With Water’ project. The team developed a Water Energy Calculator, helping households to learn about their water use and potential savings. The tool collected data from more than 86,000 homes across the UK. The results were widely reported in the media, reaching an estimated 76% of the UK population with water efficiency messages.

H2Eco Research by Essex & Suffolk Water was runner-up in the research and evaluation category. The E2Eco project analysed 1.5 million results, helping to improve the industry’s evidence base.

Campaigns and Education

The European Water Label by the Bathroom Manufacturers Association (BMA) won the campaigns and education award. The scheme provides recognisable labelling and an online database showing the water-use characteristics of bathroom and kitchen products. Since launching in 2006, the voluntary label scheme has seen significant growth. Around 6,000 products are currently listed on the database and the scheme is supported by bathroom retailers, merchants and manufacturers across Europe.

The Little Green Riding Hood play by Northumbria Water was runner-up for its creative approach to education. It focused on educating primary school children about their ‘good’ and ‘bad’ water use habits.

Landscape and Gardening

A project by Northumbria Water, Middlesbrough Council and Middlesbrough Environment City to improve water use at Saltersgill allotments won the landscape and gardening award. The project aimed to educate allotment plot holders about the impact of their water use on the local community. As a result, water consumption reduced at the Saltersgill site by over 20,000 litres.

The runner-up was Essex & Suffolk Water with their ‘Save a bucket load’ campaign which promoted efficient use of water in the garden during April and May 2013.

Business and Industry

Seacourt, a small printing company in Oxford won the business and industry award for its commitment to dramatically reduce its water consumption. The SME has cut its water use by 80% over the past 13 years. The savings were achieved via new machinery and a companywide drive to save water.

Aquafund by Ealing Council was runner-up for cutting the Council’s water use by 33%.

Innovation

The award for innovation went to Anglian Water for its water in-house display. The system provides information on water use, leak alarms and water budgeting tools which can be enjoyed by the whole family. 11,300 customers have installed the devises, saving 9 litres of water per property per day and cutting overall water demand by 4%. The system has been widely disseminated across the UK and Europe and there is potential for this technology to be adapted for email, smart phone applications and social media.

Runner-up of the innovation award was the sustainable communities partnership project by Save Water Save Money. The initiative was designed for social housing tenanted properties and installed CombiSmart devices free of charge. The project reports to have saved 400,000 litres of water per day.

The Chairman’s Award

The Environment Agency Chairman’s Award, chosen by Lord Chris Smith from entries by water companies, went to the domestic metering water efficiency campaign by Southern Water. Part of a metering programme for 500,000 homes, this project sought to educate homeowners on water saving methods, providing financial assistance to those on low incomes. As a result over 166,000 water-saving products were installed alongside water meters. Household water consumption was reduced by up to 112 litres per property, saving customers an estimated £1.8 million on water bills.

The project scored highly across all of the judging criteria and was seen as a great example of combining face-to-face advice, interventions and financial assistance to customers to ensure water efficiency.

Exemplar Awards

There was also recognition for those leading the way in water efficiency within their part of the UK. The winners for Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales were:

Last but not least, the Clare Ridgewell Award for an Outstanding Contribution to Water Efficiency went to Brian Hooper, Managing Director of Waterwise Consulting.

Read more about the UK Water Efficiency Awards.

Find information on how your organisation can save water.

Published 18 June 2014