Stanford University, Applied Materials and Redwood City were all recognized Monday for taking a lead in Silicon Valley's water-conservation efforts to reduce water usage.
The Silicon Valley Water Conservation Awards -- presented Tuesday by a coalition of 10 organizations -- recognize 11 agencies, municipalities and individuals who've made major efforts to reduce the region's water usage. This is the first year the awards are being made.
Stanford University was recognized in the "large organization" category for its comprehensive water-conservation program, which reduced daily campus use from 2.7 million to 2.3 million gallons per day since 2001.
According to the Sustainable Development Study the university released in December, Stanford completed 17 water-efficiency retrofits between 2001 and 2007. These include retrofits in student housing that cut water use by 37 percent and replacement of standard dishwashers with trough conveyers, which cut water use by about 142 gallons per hour.
Applied Materials, a Santa Clara-based semiconductor manufacturer, took the prize in the "overall business" category for reducing is water consumption by 16 percent, saving more than 40 million gallons of water per year.
The company is working toward a goal of reducing water consumption at all of its facilities worldwide by at least 10 percent by 2012. So far, the company says it has saved more than 51 million gallons of water through a variety of projects initiatives, including using recycled water to feed cooling towers and scrubbers, installing low-flow toilets and sensor-activated faucets, and relying more on native landscaping, which requires less water.
Redwood City, meanwhile, won in the "innovation" category for its water-allocation program, which creates water budgets for landscape-irrigation customers. The program has reportedly resulted in 15 percent to 30 percent reduction in water usage.
The awards were presented by a coalition composed of Acterra, Bay Area Waster Supply and Conservation Agency (BAWSCA), California Native Plant Society Clean Water Action, Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network, Santa Clara Valley Water District, Silicon Valley Leadership Group, Sustainable San Mateo County, Sustainable Silicon Valley and Tuolumne River Trust.
Marianna Grossman, executive director of Sustainable Silicon Valley, said her organization salutes "forward-looking champions who are finding ways to be water wise."
"Every business, household and community organization should be getting a water audit, checking for leaks, installing water efficient appliances and using less water," Gross said in a press release. "Our long-term prosperity will depend on using and reusing local water sources and relying less on imported water."
Other Silicon Valley Water Conservation Awards recipients were:
-California Native Plant Society in the "education" category.
-City of San Jose Environmental Services Department in the "large government agency/utility" category.
-First Community Housing in the "multiple benefit" category
-Former state Assemblyman John Laird in the "individual" category
-Kirsch Center for Environmental Studies in the "small organization" category
-L-3 Communications in the "program-specific business" category.
-Montara Water & Sanitary District in "small government agency/utility" category
-ValleyCrest Landscape Maintenance in the "landscape management" category.