The Environment Agency launched its 2009 Water Efficiency Awards on 13th January to recognise organisations that cut down on the water they use, helping to conserve our country's precious water resources.

The awards sponsored by Defra, the Food and Drink Federation and Ofwat, are the leading scheme in England and Wales to recognise the achievements of business in promoting water efficiency. Businesses, both large and small, keen to highlight their sustainability credentials are urged to submit their entries via the website www.water-efficiency-awards.org.uk before April 17th 2009.

Nine awards will be made for practical measures that save water and money, smart solutions for water use and campaigns that change the way people use water. The awards are open to both businesses and the water industry and will be judged by leading experts in water efficiency drawn from the Environment Agency, SEEDA, Water UK and the University of Exeter. Partner organisations supporting the Awards include the IEMA, Business Link, Envirowise and the Welsh Assembly Government. The official media partner of the Awards is Utility Week.

Ian Barker, Head of Water Resources at the Environment Agency and chair of the judging panel said. The judging panel will include:

  • Ian Barker, Head of Water Resources, Environment Agency
  • Martin Baxter, Deputy Chief Executive, IEMA
  • James E Brathwaite CBE, Chairman, South East England Development Agency
  • Professor David Butler, Director, Centre for Water Systems, University of Exeter
  • Steve Hobson, Editor, Utility Week
  • Paul Hope, Head of Water Resource Economics, Ofwat
  • Peter Jiggins, Head of Branch, Water Supply and Regulation, Department for Environment and Rural Affairs
  • Andrew Kuyk CBE, Director of Sustainability and Competitiveness, The Food and Drink Federation
  • Erica Russell, Market Development Sustainable Business, Business Link
  • Graham Setterfield, Non-Executive Director, South East Water
  • Clare Sweeney, Water Business Delivery Manager, Envirowise
  • A Representative from the Welsh Assembly Government

The awards, which are free to enter, will judge each entry on its own merits to provide a level playing field for smaller businesses unable to match the scale of water savings achievable by larger firms. Credit will be given for clear evidence of changes in attitudes and behaviours of the intended audience and quantifiable financial and environmental benefits. Award entry forms can be downloaded or filled in online at the official awards website at www.water-efficiency-awards.org.uk.