Water efficiency awards prove that every drop counts

The Malvern Hotel and The Blues Grill in Kent were today presented with the top award in the United Kingdom's 2007 Environment Agency Water Efficiency Awards for efforts in saving water and raising awareness to customers and other hotel owners...

LONDON, March 9, 2007 -- The Malvern Hotel and The Blues Grill in Kent were today presented with the top award in the United Kingdom's 2007 Environment Agency Water Efficiency Awards for efforts in saving water and raising awareness to customers and other hotel owners.

Environment Minister Ian Pearson awarded the family-run hotel and restaurant business the Outstanding Contribution to Water Conservation and winner of the Leisure and Tourism category for their "Every Drop Counts" project. The business has seen a 46% drop in water use and annual savings of more than £840 since July 2005.

Other winners announced today included the Broadland Agricultural Water Abstractors Group in East Anglia for training members in water efficiency and saving 190,000 cubic metres of abstracted water a year, and hand car wash Pitstop in Swansea for installing a water recycling system that has cut water use by 60%.

Chief Executive of the Environment Agency Barbara Young said the winners and commended projects had impressed the judges in their commitment to making significant water savings and reducing business costs.

"It was difficult deciding on the winners, as there was such quality and diversity in the entries. But those businesses who have gone that extra mile got the attention of our judges," Barbara Young said.

"These businesses have shown that by investing time and effort in being water efficient, there are huge savings to be made financially, as well as being a benefit to the environment. With water use in the home and workplace set to continue to rise in the future because of population growth and development, the winners of our 2007 Water Efficiency Awards are leading the way in targeting water saving efforts and making better use of the water we have now.

"Through their enthusiasm and commitment, the Malvern Hotel and The Blues Grill managed to reduce water use by 46% or 320 cubic metres per year. This family-run hotel shows how small companies can make big savings that are truly worthwhile."

Ian Pearson said: "The appreciation of water as a precious resource which we need to use wisely is a relatively new concept and is still a challenging idea for many. But as we face the inevitable changes brought by climate, population growth, and consumer habits it is one we are increasingly unable to ignore.

"Practical examples of the environmental benefits and the cost savings that come with using water more wisely is one of the most effective ways of getting that message across. The projects featured in this year's Water Efficiency Awards demonstrate not only what can be achieved, but remind us that this is an issue on which every one of us has a responsibility to act."

Several commendations were awarded in the Agriculture and Horticulture category and Construction and Renovation category, as the competition was too close to call. Essex & Suffolk Water was also awarded the Judges' Award for being a consistent participant and presenting high quality water efficiency entries over the past four years.

The awards were presented today at the Energy Clinic in London by Environment Minister Ian Pearson and Environment Agency Director of Water Management David King. The Water Efficiency Awards are supported by Defra, DfES, Envirowise, the NFU, RTPI, Ofwat, sustain magazine and the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG). The entries will be featured in a special Water Efficiency Awards publication. For more information on the awards and previous winners see the website at www.environment-agency.gov.uk/savewater

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