By Craig Zammit

MELBOURNE: The 2006 Savewater Awards are calling for retailers who practice water-saving initiatives to enter the service providers and product innovations categories of the 2006 awards program.

The Saewater Awards recognise and reward outstanding achievement in water conservation, and interested retailers are encouraged to visit to enter.

“Whether you’re a printer, large or small laundry, retailer or service centre, we want to hear about your achievements in conserving water,” said Savewater Alliance Inc. CEO, Nigel Finney.

“From past experience, we know that service providers are also very innovative – developing systems or products to reduce water use.”

Past winners in the ‘service providers’ category have included Investa Property Group and Warragul Linen Service – who were joint winners in 2005 and Australian Graphic Servicing who tool out the award in 2004.

The awards are an initiative of Australia’s leading resource for water conservation information and solutions, the Savewater Alliance Inc. – a coalition of metropolitan and regional water businesses from Victoria and New South Wales.

According to Finney, the Savewater Awards provide a platform for water aware companies to inspire, educate and motivate their broader industry and community on how to use water resources in the most sustainable way possible.

The awards also feature eight other categories including built environment, community action, education programs, garden management, government, manufacturing, primary industries and regional business.

“I’m really looking forward to learning about new innovations helping the water saving challenge,” said Savewater ambassador and head of the awards judging panel, Rob Gell.

“How we use this resource only continues to increase in importance given rising populations and the need to adapt to climate change, which will result in more hot days, more dry weather and more extreme storms.”

Last year the sum of water savings from the 21 finalists equated to a 832 Olympic sized swimming pools.

Nominations for this year’s awards close on 18 October 2006 during National Water Week and the winners will be announced at a gala event held on 23 March 2007.