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UK Water Efficiency Awards winners and runners-up announced

18 September 2012

The awards ceremony was held on the evening of Monday, 17 September 2012 in The Cholmondeley Room and Terrace at the House of Lords

The twenty-three deserving projects ranged from the creative to the practical, demonstrating the variety of ways in which organisations are cutting water consumption. 

In the farming and horticulture sector, winner Lowaters Nursery in Southampton is no longer reliant on mains water to irrigate its plants. This has been achieved through a seven million litre reservoir, rainwater capture and a clean water storage and pumping system. The nursery has gone from using 17,000 cubic metres of water to almost nothing which has meant savings of at least £20,000 a year.

The Environment Agency’s Chairman’s Award went to ‘Save Water Swindon’, a joint project between Thames Water, in partnership with WWF and Waterwise. It aimed at reducing water consumption in the town by one million litres a day by 2014. It is on course to achieve this ambitious goal – having already reduced overall use by more than 560,000 litres a day.

One of the other winning projects featured ‘Gabi the camel’, the UK’s first on-air animated character dedicated to educating children about water efficiency. GabiH2O, in partnership with Nickelodeon UK, and sponsored by United Utilities and Southern Water, features a rapping camel educating children on the need to save water.

Another runner-up is ‘Tap into Savings’, a community-level water and energy saving programme in Essex which saves more than 80,000 litres a day. More than 3,000 homes have been fitted with energy-saving devices which have resulted in water savings of about 15% per household.

Lord Chris Smith, Chairman of the Environment Agency, said: “The recent drought has brought the need for water efficiency into sharp focus. What can be achieved is highlighted by this year’s winners – all of whom should be praised for not only saving water but also putting themselves a step ahead of their competitors, saving money and preparing for the future.”

Jacob Tompkins, Waterwise’s Managing Director, said: “We’ve been impressed by the calibre of all the entries this year; it’s been truly inspiring to see all the great work on water efficiency that’s being done all across the UK.”

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