Companies in Region 6 receive the Water Efficiency Leader Awards (WEL Awards)
The EPA recognized the national need for efficient use of water resources and has created initiatives such as the WaterSense program. The WEL Awards were also created by the EPA to help foster this nationwide ethic of water efficiency. A panel of national water experts chose the winners of the WEL Awards. Their decisions were based on the group’s leadership, innovation, and water saved. The winners and their highlighted water conservation efforts are as follows:
Intel Corporation, Ocotillo Campus (Chandler, Arizona) – Corporate – This company recycled 75 percent of the water used during manufacturing, took back 825 million gallons of treated wastewater from the city’s wastewater plant, internally re-used 530 million gallons of water, and treated and returned 575 million gallons of water to the local underground aquifer.
Frito-Lay (Plano, Texas) – Industry – Their nationwide effort resulted in a 39 percent decrease in water consumption per pound of product since 1999.
Lackland Air Force Base (Lackland, Texas) – Military – This base used a comprehensive approach to tackle water conservation. Efforts included bathroom fixture retrofits, water efficient landscaping, and water efficient heating and cooling systems. In addition, they used recycled wastewater for irrigation, watering, and cooling. Other aspects of Lackland’s approach consisted of employee outreach, school curriculum, and tenant education.
Santa Clara Valley Water District (San Jose, California) – Government – This agency helped reduce community water demand by 55,000 acre-feet through it’s conservation and water recycling, and they have plans to further reduce demand.
Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center (KPPC) at the University of Louisville (Louisville, Kentucky) – Nongovernmental Organization – This center also works to find profitable pollution prevention solutions to reduce the need for end-of-pipe treatment. They helped one metal finishing company profit financially while having a 30 percent net water saving.