Categories and criteria

waterwise environment agency water efficiency awards logo

Categories and criteria

This year’s UK Water Efficiency Awards include eight theme categories, three exemplar project categories and one special award. You may enter your project into more than one category.

Please read the details below before submitting your entry; further information is included on the Entry Form.

For each category there will be one Winner and one Runner-up, except for the Environment Agency Chairman’s Award, which will be given to one Winner.

Across all categories, judges will be looking for projects that demonstrate the greatest achievements in the following areas: 

  • Immediate outcomes
  • Partnership and collaboration
  • Dissemination
  • Legacy

Themed categories

In addition to the above, for each themed category, judges also will be looking for the following: 

Built Environment

Projects that make use of proven water efficiency technologies (including, e.g., fixtures and fittings or rainwater/greywater systems) in refurbishment and/or retrofit of existing homes, or in new build.

Sponsored by:

blue raindrop flower logo CATEGORY water efficiency awards

We design, develop and manufacture the widest range of plastic piping products, with over 20,000 product lines available.

Our primary focus is on developing and supporting pragmatic product systems through specific knowledge and understanding of the residential, commercial, civils and infrastructure market sectors. We ensure that customers can trust our unrivalled expertise to provide value engineered, fit for purpose piping solutions for the growing diversity and complexity of construction and building technology challenges they face.

Business and Industry

Projects that save water and save money for private sector companies; projects that seek to engage employees with water efficiency.

Sponsored by:

business stream logo

Business Stream is the leading provider of water and waste water services to business across the UK. We help our customers understand how they use water enabling them to reduce risk and save money. We’re proud that so far we’ve helped businesses save over £25m in consumption costs (that’s over 16,000 tonnes of CO2). 

Campaigns and Education

Projects that seek to, for example, influence water-using behaviours, encourage uptake of home visit retrofit offers and/or raise awareness of our impact on the natural water environment; projects that demonstrate an understanding of their target audience(s) and/or have used research to inform the development of their initiative.

Sponsored by:

homebase logo

Homebase is one of the UK's leading home enhancement retailers selling over 38,000 products for the home and garden, in-store and on-line.

It has more than 340 large, out-of-town stores throughout the UK and Republic of Ireland serving around 64 million customers a year, and a growing internet offering at In the financial year to February 2012, Homebase sales were £1.5 billion and it employed some 19,000 people across the business.

Homebase offers an extensive range of home enhancement products from accessories to help decorate the home through to fitted bedrooms and kitchens to plants and garden furniture.

Store staff are all trained to the highest standards, some with City & Guilds accreditation, and can offer guidance and advice to customers on all areas of home enhancement.

Visit to view the range, shop on line or reserve items for pick up at one of the 340 stores throughout the UK and Republic of Ireland.


Community-led Initiative

Community-led projects that celebrate the importance of water, in particular rivers, to local communities and in which people have come together to improve the local water environment and raise awareness of peoples’ impact on it.

 Sponsored by:

defra logo

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is the UK government department responsible for policy and regulations on the environment, food and rural affairs. In March 2012 Defra and a coalition of NGOs and water companies came together to launch the ‘Love Your River’ campaign, to highlight the link between river health and water use, so that people understand and value water and take action to improve their local rivers and the environment around them. The campaign celebrates the importance of rivers to local people – for their health, well-being, leisure and sport.

Through this campaign we want to raise awareness of the impact people’s water use has on their rivers and recognise the great work that local groups already do to look after their rivers.

Farming and Horticulture

Projects that improve water efficiency in the commercial farming and horticulture sectors; projects that go beyond irrigation efficiency to, for example, consider water-smart crop selection, water footprinting or local water environmental improvements.

Sponsored by:

kettle chips logo

Kettle Foods, producers of KETTLE® Chips, is based in Norwich, in the heart of the potato growing county of Norfolk. KETTLE® Chips is the number one hand cooked crisp brand in the UK whose success has been built on a simple, uncompromising approach to making great tasting chips using the best ingredients.

Since their launch 30 years ago, the KETTLE® Chips recipe has remained the same - slices of the best quality potatoes hand cooked in sunflower oil, then sprinkled with authentic seasonings. We are sponsoring this award because water conservation and efficiency are vital if Norfolk is to carry on producing top quality potatoes, a key ingredient in KETTLE® Chips.

Over 75% of the potatoes used are grown on local farms in Norfolk and 90% in East Anglia. We work with growers who are passionate about producing only the very best potatoes, in an ecologically friendly and ethical manner and those with similar values to our own. 


Projects that develop, test or trial a new idea, such as an innovative approach to engaging water customers or a tool, service or device which helps customers in a domestic or non-domestic setting to be more water efficient; entrants must explain how their project is innovative and how it will help advance water efficiency in the UK.

Sponsored by:

WSKEP logo

Increasing water demand due to population growth, food production and the effects of a changing climate is now recognised as one of the greatest challenges facing mankind.

These developments, in the UK and around the world, have been based on unsustainable exploitation of water resources, and water security is now a major concern of governments, industry and citizens.

The UK is highly regarded for its expertise in hydrology, and the Water Security knowledge exchange programme will support this through innovative and effective knowledge exchange activities.


Landscape and Gardening

Projects that demonstrate good practice in water-efficient gardening and landscaping, including use of water efficiency technologies and methods, and those that go beyond good practice.

Sponsored by:

hozelock logo

With over half a century of horticultural expertise, at Hozelock we understand the rewards of gardening and we want to help you get the most from your garden. Our water saving range includes drip watering systems and water butt pumps to allow the easy and efficient use of stored water.

It's part of our goal of making the use of rainwater as easy as turning on the tap. We're based in Birmingham, and are proud to be previous winners of both the Queens Award for export achievement, and the UK Manufacturer of the Year. Find us at and @hozelock.

Research and Evaluation

Projects that seek to solve water efficiency challenges and/or better understand the value of water efficiency interventions.

Sponsored by:

Ofwat logo

Ofwat is a non-ministerial government department. We are responsible for making sure that the water and sewerage sectors in England and Wales provide consumers with a good quality and efficient service at a fair price.

Exemplar projects

The Exemplar Project awards specifically recognise water efficiency achievements in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and seek to highlight the multiple social, environmental and economic benefits of water efficiency. Projects must be delivered in these areas and must involve at least one organisation whose registered address is in these areas.

Exemplar Project in

Northern Ireland

Backed by:

consumer council logo

The Consumer Council is an independent consumer organisation working to bring about change to benefit Northern Ireland's consumers. Our aim is to make the consumer voice heard and make it count.

We represent consumers in the areas of water and sewerage, energy and transport. We also have responsibility to educate consumers on their rights and responsibilities and to equip them with the skills they need to make good decisions about managing their money wisely.

Exemplar Project in


Backed by:

Consumer Focus Scotland logo

Consumer Focus Scotland is Scotland's independent consumer champion and Scotland's new advocate for water customers. There can be no doubt that water is an essential service and when problems occur, such as with frozen pipes in winter, it can be a stark reminder how critical it is to life.

Our work is about representing water customers, all across Scotland, helping ensure that the needs of consumers are at the heart of key decisions taken on water issues. We work closely with the water industry, governments and regulators to ensure that this happens.

We have a range of statutory powers and in this our first year as Scotland's water advocate, we are embarking on a new programme of research focused on getting to the bottom of a number of issues for water consumers, recommending solutions and improvements and making a positive difference in the water arena in Scotland.

Exemplar Project in


Backed by:

welsh government logo

The Welsh Government is the devolved Government for Wales.  We are working to help improve the lives of people in Wales and make our nation a better place in which to live and work.
The Welsh Government consists of
- The First Minister,
- Welsh Ministers,
- The Counsel General, and
- Deputy Ministers.
They are supported by Civil Servants who work across devolved areas that include key areas of public life such as health, educations and the environment. 
We aim to be open and responsive to the needs of citizens and communities and are one of the few governments in the world that publishes Cabinet minutes and papers.

Special Award

This year’s special award is the Environment Agency Chairman’s Award.

This award seeks to highlight good work being done by water companies to manage water demand; one project delivered by or with a water company that best demonstrates good practice in delivering water efficiency initiatives will be selected. We are looking for a project that clearly demonstrates that a water company has gone beyond what is required of them by its regulators.

waterwise ea logos