Veronica Blette Wins AWE Water Star Award


veronicablette 2The Alliance for Water Efficiency’s Water Star Award recognizes individual excellence in water efficiency. It celebrates the “unsung hero”, the water conservation practitioner working in the trenches who makes a huge difference by their personal passion for water conservation, a quiet dedication to obtaining those needed reductions in water use, and persistence in the face of numerous obstacles and challenges.

Veronica Blette was the perfect choice to lead the important new fledgling labeling program called WaterSense®. She had clear program experience at EPA and knew how to grow a startup program in the face of numerous government obstacles. Here is what has been accomplished under her quiet but persistent leadership:

  • Water Star Award Veronica Blette 2Created a robust WaterSense Partner Network: more than 1,800 organizations, manufacturers, and retailers have signed on.
  • Developed a certification system with Stephanie Tanner that would provide for independent certification of products in order to earn the label, a system designed so well that ENERGY STAR chose to emulate it in 2010 when they made changes in their program to move to a more formal third-party certification system. 
  • Launched a comprehensive social media program and the “We’re for Water” tour -- a national outreach campaign to encourage consumers to save water. 
  • Created a BMP Guide that covered 36 BMPs in the commercial and institutional sector and launched the H2Otel Challenge.
  • Launched a webinar series with partners such as HUD, Energy Star, and AWE.
  • Added a number of campaigns, such as Fix a Leak Week, Shower Better, the outdoor Sprinkler Spruce Up, and the When in Drought campaigns.
  • Launched a directory of more than 2,800 certified landscape professionals to allow users to seek available people within their area.

But the true impact of WaterSense over these two years is in the savings achieved and the products labeled. Highlights of what has happened under her watch:

  • 16,110 products labeled – a staggering amount.  This includes:
    • 2,458 toilets
    • 9,359 faucets
    • 3,697 showerheads
    • 367 flushing urinals
    • 204 weather-based irrigation controllers
    • 25 pre-rinse spray valves 
  • 1.5 trillion gallons of water saved to date. That’s more than the entire amount of water used by all households in California for a year!
  • 212 billion KWh, enough power to supply 19.4 million homes for a year
  • 78 million metric tons of GHG, the equivalent of planting 2 billion trees
  • $32.6 billion in savings on consumer water and energy bills

In this 10th landmark anniversary of the WaterSense program, the Alliance for Water Efficiency is very proud to award its 2016 Water Star award to Veronica Blette.