Anglian Water has won an award for encouraging people in the East of England to save water in the garden.
On-line advice service, ‘The Potting Shed’, scooped the award at the Environment Agency and Waterwise UK’s Water Efficiency Awards 2012 at the House of Lords last night (17.9.12).
It was given first prize in the Landscape and Gardening category for its efforts to encourage the use of water-saving technologies and ways of gardening.
Run in partnership with the Royal Horticultural Society, the project also offers customers free tips and water-saving devices.
It aims to encourage people to change their behaviour towards water use in the garden and educate them on how they can achieve beautiful gardens while being water efficient.
Garden kits containing water-storing crystals, water-retaining mats, garden watering tips and a pocket guide to drought-tolerant plants were produced in collaboration with The RHS and distributed to more than 30,000 people across the Anglian Region during the recent drought.
Despite the very wet summer that followed the drought, Linda Berkshire, Water Efficiency Manager at Anglian Water, said saving water in the home and garden remained important.
She said: “Even in a normal year we only get a fraction of the rainfall of the rest of the country meaning we have an ongoing obligation to use water wisely in the East of England.
“The Potting Shed proved a very effective and direct way for us to reach a section of the community who could help us save substantial amounts of water. The whole campaign was built around encouraging a long-term change in behaviour, and we hope the impact will outlive the campaign.”
The awards came during a month-long initiative by the Environment Agency to recognise those British businesses that are helping to drive green growth through careful waste, water and energy use, despite tough economic times.
Environment Agency water resources manager Iain Page said: “It's important that organisations and individuals take responsibility for using water wisely to help protect our valuable natural environment. This can also save money on water and energy bills.
“In the UK pressure on water resources is likely to increase due to population growth and climate change. Some parts of the country actually have less water available per head than some Mediterranean countries!”
Professor Alan Alexander, Chair of Waterwise Board of Directors and a judge in this years awards, said: “The Potting Shed is a comprehensive water efficient gardening initiative that reflects well on Anglian Water's investment in this area. The project is carefully targeted, well-executed and carefully evaluated – there is no doubt that Anglian Water will be able to build on this good work and disseminate their expertise to the industry.”