(Boston, Mass. – Nov. 18, 2013) – EPA recently gave nation recognition to the Town of Sharon, Mass. for the Town’s efforts to educate and inform citizens about practical ways to conserve water and thus save money. The recognition was under EPA’s WaterSense program.
The Town of Sharon was awarded for “Excellence in Outreach and Education.” With assistance and input from the Neponset River Watershed Association, the Town launched a program to educate local citizens on the benefits of water efficiency. The program has shown results: using concentrated education and outreach tactics, water efficiency is catching on in the town.
“New Englanders have always been practical and forward-thinking when it comes to protecting our environment. We are proud that the Town of Sharon, along with its partnership with the Neponset River Watershed Association, is taking wise steps to save water and resources,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “We all can save water and protect the environment by choosing WaterSense labeled products in our homes, yards and businesses, and by taking simple steps to save water each day.”
Starting with its youngest citizens, an in-school initiative in Sharon schools presented by NepRWA’s Water Conservation Coordinator, Nancy Fyler, taught students about water conservation and provided take-home materials to educate parents about water efficiency in the home. Fyler also directed high school students in developing effective and informative public service announcements on the topics of water efficiency and conservation, videos for which were broadcast on the town’s local cable station. In addition, high school students designed informational posters which were hung up in municipal buildings throughout the town. Finally, the Town of Sharon celebrated the 2012 Fix a Leak Week in style by stringing a banner across the town’s Main Street and encouraging all residents to install WaterSense labeled products and embrace water-efficient practices at home.
“The partnership forged between the Neponset River Watershed Association and the Town of Sharon Water Department has resulted in both groups doing what they do best towards providing a sustainable water supply to the residents of Sharon,” said Eric Hooper, Sharon DPW Superintendent.
The Town has seen great progress on water use reductions as a result of the outreach and education. Sharon’s award-winning water conservation program has reduced the town’s water use by 100 million gallons per year – the equivalent of adding a new water supply well. In 2012, Sharon’s average water use was 58 gallons per person per day, yet many households get down to under 30. EPA estimates the national average usage at about 100 gallons per person per day.
“Water conservation is a great win-win-win strategy for our communities, our ratepayers, and our streams and rivers,” said Neponset River Watershed Association Executive Director, Ian Cooke. “Every gallon we save, helps reduce infrastructure costs, regulatory compliance costs, and water bills, while helping to keep our streams and rivers flowing healthy for family recreation, fish and wildlife.”
The WaterSense program makes it easy to save. Just look for the label on toilets, faucets, irrigation controllers and many other products http://www.epa.gov/watersense/