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WaterSense Partnerships

What is WaterSense?

WaterSense is a voluntary, nationally recognized program sponsored by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) that promotes water conservation and efficiency. Similar to the U.S. EPA ENERGYSTAR program, there are two main branches of the WaterSense Program. This first is product labeling in which products such as toilets, faucets and showerheads are rated for compliance with WaterSense standards. If compliant, the product is then labeled as a WaterSense product. This typically means that the product uses 20 percent less water than its conventional counterpart. Below is a chart of all the current and future WaterSense products.

Current Products

Future Products


Water softeners

Bathroom sink faucets and accessories

Pre-rinse spray valves





Landscape irrigation controllers



The second branch offers seven voluntary partnerships representing a variety of interests. The promotional partnership is the most appropriate for utilities, municipalities, and local units of government. As the name infers, a promotional partner promotes the use of WaterSense products and water conservation and efficiency in general. The degree to which a utility or municipality "promotes" WaterSense is entirely up to partners and their available resources. The only requirement is that a Partner must provide an annual report ( a one page form) of WaterSense-related promotional activities. Typical promotional activities include displaying WaterSense logo on website, requiring WaterSense products for any rebate program, participation in Fix-a-Leak Week (March 11 to 19), or using public information materials to communicate water conservation messages to residents.

Why become a WaterSense Promotional Partner? What are the benefits?

  1. It is free to sign up and easy to participate in.
  2. Access to Outreach and Promotional Materials via WaterSense Partner-only website
    The Partner-only website provides outreach and promotional materials to help jump start a public information campaign. The materials are ready-to-go and may only need a municipal logo or name to complete. Materials include:

    • Bill inserts (English and Spanish)
    • Magnet design
    • Press releases
    • Public service announcements
    • Guidance on how to run a rebate program
    • Water saving tip brochures
    • Fact sheets
    • Web banners
  3. Recognition and Network
    WaterSense partnership gives a municipality or utility national attention by listing participation on the WaterSense website and provides access to WaterSense logos for inclusion on municipal outreach materials and for posting on the municipal website. Being a WaterSense partner also provides access to other partners throughout the region and country to share experiences and ideas about water conservation and efficiency.
  4. Unified Message
    Additionally the partnership provides a unifying message for the region and the nation about the importance of water conservation and efficiency. What message would northeastern Illinois send to residents and businesses if every municipality was represented as a WaterSense partner?

Who is a WaterSense Promotional Partner in our region?
Our region's 26 promotional partners are listed below as of February 2012. Visit the WaterSense website for a full list of partners in the United States.

Alliance for Water Efficiency

Kendall County Health Department

Barrington Area Council of Governments

Metro West Council of Government

Center for Neighborhood Technology

Metropolitan Planning Council

Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning

Northwest Water Planning Alliance

City of Batavia

The County of McHenry

City of Chicago Department of Water Management

Village of Buffalo Grove

City of Des Plaines

Village of Gilberts

City of Elgin

Village of Hoffman Estates

City of Evanston

Village of Oak Park

City of Highland Park

Village of Palos Park

City of Springfield, CWLP

Village of Schaumburg

DuPage Water Commission

Village of South Elgin

Illinois Department of Natural Resources

Village of Westmont


How to sign up

It is FREE and EASY to apply with the a three page partnership agreement that takes about 10 minutes to fill out. Confirmation of partnership from the U.S. EPA typically takes about two weeks. At that time, a utility or municipality will receive a welcome packet. This packet will contain a password to access the partners' only website which contains a wealth of outreach and promotional resources as described above.

What other resources are available on this topic?

WaterSense New Homes Website
WaterSense New Homes is a labeling program that recognizes individual homes that are built to USEPA's specification. Each WaterSense New Home saves about 10,000 gallons of water per year. These designated homes save water both indoors through plumbing fixtures and appliances and outdoors with water-efficient landscaping and irrigation options.

WaterSense-partnership information
General information on all the partnerships that WaterSense offers.

U.S. EPA, Region 5 Staff Contact: Cary McElhinney: McElhinney.Cary@epamail.epa.gov or 312-886-4313



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