Santa Barbara City College was awarded the 2014 Water Hero Award for its commitment to improving sustainability efforts on campus, reducing water usage, and retrofitting facilities. By participating in the City's WaterWise Survey and Incentive Program, SBCC can save over $35,000 on utility bills annually and reduce water use by 30% with campus-wide retrofits. Some of these retrofits included installing spray nozzles, aerators and low-flow showerheads, retrofitting irrigation to drip systems and creating bioswales and rain gardens.
The Santa Barbara Association of Realtors was awarded the 2013 Water Hero Award for their new rainwater demonstration garden at 1415 Chapala St. The original lawn and was removed and replaced with native and water wise plants that receive water from redirected roof downspouts and drip irrigation. The gutters and downspouts are directed to a dry creek bed and large swales that collect and slowly seep rainwater into the soil, away from the foundation. The new garden will reduce the water consumption by 80%, eliminate basement flooding, and the reduce maintenance time by 99%.
The Towbes Group has been awarded the 2012 Water Hero award for significant advances in saving water at their corporate office and Rancho Franciscan Senior Apartments. Through retrofitting their toilets and urinals to high efficiency models and installing new aerators at their corporate office, their monthly water use has dropped by 41%, which is about 8,500 gallons per month. Rancho Franciscan installed smart irrigation controllers and converted from sprinklers to drip irrigation for over 50% reduction in landscape water use!
Dennis Allen was named the City’s first Water Hero for his downtown LEED Platinum residential development, Victoria Garden Mews. The four-unit condo development, which he helped design, build, and now lives in, showcases many advances in water conservation such as high efficiency appliances and irrigation. The garden features water wise and native plants, fruit trees, and a vegetable garden, which are irrigated with rainwater from a 14,000 gallon rainwater “bladder” in the basement.