Irrigation Association earns EPA award

By and |  October 9, 2013

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has named the Irrigation Association (IA) the 2013 WaterSense Partner of the Year.WaterSense Award

IA is the first professional certifying agency partner to win this award, which recognizes the partners who help advance the mission of the WaterSense program, increase awareness of the WaterSense label in a measurable way and increase the adoption of water-efficient practices among their constituents or community.

“It’s an incredible achievement for the association and especially our members,” said IA Executive Director Deborah Hamlin, CAE. “As a long-time WaterSense partner, we are committed to promoting efficient irrigation and encouraging industry stakeholders to seek out our labeled certifications — and any labeled products — in the marketplace.”

WaterSense, a partnership program sponsored by the EPA, seeks to protect the future of the nation’s water supply by offering people a simple way to use less water with water-efficient products, new homes and services.

The association was honored with this award due to its exemplary efforts to make its certifications more readily available to irrigation professionals through targeted marketing campaigns, more computer-based sites, the addition of paper-pencil testing following a class, discounted exam registration during Smart Irrigation Month and the expansion of references available for certified irrigation contractor candidates.

“Our work to promote efficient irrigation does not end here,” said Hamlin. “We look forward to continuing and expanding our partnership with WaterSense to spread the word about why efficiency is a necessary part of all irrigation systems. We thank WaterSense for their continued leadership and focus on water-use efficiency and look forward to many years of partnership ahead.”

IA became involved in the WaterSense program from its inception in 2006 and, by February 2007, had received the WaterSense stamp of approval on four of its certification exams: certified irrigation designer, certified irrigation contractor, certified landscape irrigation auditor and certified golf irrigation auditor. To date, the EPA has a total of 1,077 WaterSense partners labeled through IA certification programs.

As a WaterSense partner, IA not only promotes the program and the label in the marketplace but also collaborates with the EPA through the Smart Water Application Technologies (SWAT) initiative. WaterSense based the specification for weather-based irrigation controllers on SWAT’s testing protocol. Currently, 172 WaterSense-labeled models are available in the marketplace. WaterSense also is working with SWAT on the development of a soil moisture-based irrigation controller specification.

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About the Author: Kelly Limpert

Kelly Limpert is the former digital media content producer for North Coast Media.

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