Santa Barbara Middle School has been awarded the 2021 Water Hero Award for their commitment to sustainability and achievements in saving water on campus. Over the past several years, they have embarked on projects to fine-tune watering schedules, upgraded landscape areas to water wise plants, constructed rain catchment basins, and retrofitted plumbing inside to high-efficiency fixtures. These efforts have resulted in water savings of 26% on the water meter that serves the building and upper landscaping and savings of 39% on the meter that serves the majority of the landscaping.
The Mesa Laundromat replaced 17 washing machines with high-efficiency washers saving over 280,000 gallons of water a year. Due to the improved technology, this change has resulted in savings on both their water and sewer bills as well as their gas and electric bills. The new washing machines have not only proven to be a benefit to the environment, but to the Mesa Laundromat customers as well. “We’re glad to hear all the positive comments we’ve gotten and we’ve had a lot more new customers because of that,” said Maribel Rivera, the co-owner.
Moby Dick Restaurant was awarded the City of Santa Barbara's 2019 Water Hero Award. The restaurant, located on Stearn's Wharf, has successfully reduced their water use by 64% compared to 2015 water use. This was achieved through only serving water on request to customers, replacing bathroom fixtures, and maintaining appliances to quickly resolve leaks.
Sweetwater Collaborative was awarded the City of Santa Barbara's 2018 Water Hero Award. Since 2013, the non-profit organization Sweetwater Collaborative has taught educational classes, led hands-on workshops, organized home garden tours, and upgraded homes and businesses to water wise gardens with the help of the community. They specialize in graywater and rainwater installations to reduce the amount of potable water applied to gardens while still maintaining a vibrant, colorful garden.
Mission Linen Supply was awarded the 2017 Water Hero Award for incorporating water saving practices into their daily operations and significantly reducing water usage at their facilities in Santa Barbara. Mission processes thousands of pounds of laundry each week, making water an important part of their operations. By reusing water onsite and adjusting washing formulas, Mission has reduced their water usage by 30%, approximately 5 million gallons a year.
The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden was awarded the 2016 Water Hero Award for serving as a role model for sustainable landscape practices, as well as for their recent achievement of constructing the Water Wise Home Garden and Island View Garden. In 2016, the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden celebrated its 90th anniversary and opened its doors to the new Pritzlaff Conservation Center, Island View Garden showcasing plants from the Channel Islands, and the redesigned Water Wise Home Garden. Their inspiring gardens demonstrate that you can use a wide variety of California native plants to save water, add beauty to your home, and preserve the environment.
The Eucalyptus Hill Homeowners Association was awarded the 2015 Water Hero Award for their extraordinary efforts saving water outdoors with water wise landscaping and efficient irrigation. The HOA converted nearly 5,000 square feet of lawn to water wise landscaping, installed drip irrigation and a weather-based irrigation controller, and participated in the City's Smart Landscape and Free Sprinkler Nozzle programs. The projected water savings for Eucalyptus Hill HOA are nearly 65%!
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 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.