In May of 2017, El Paso Water started a new program that allows local businesses to become a Certified Water Partner and showcase El Paso Water’s recognition of their water conservation efforts.
“It’s a constant reinforcement of water conservation,” said Norma Guzman, a certified water specialist for El Paso Water. “It shows a partnership, that we’re all in it together. It’s important to go beyond just conserving water at home.”
These businesses have met best practice criteria such as installing water efficient kitchen equipment, faucets, and toilets, while protecting wastewater systems with responsible fats and grease disposal.
Tabla is one of the newest businesses to be certified, and Sous Chef Jason Lucero is thrilled at the progress they’ve made in the kitchen.
“We’re always able to turn on a faucet without knowing exactly how much water we’re using, and being more conscious of it has helped how much we waste,” said Lucero.
EP Water officials add that for a business to become a Certified Water Partner, they must be local, have their own meter, utilize best practices for water efficiency and have a responsible fats and grease disposal system.
With 25 partners since the start of the program, Guzman said she’s happy with the positive impact the program is having on the community. In addition to recognizing restaurants that have good practices in conservation, El Paso Water also advises restaurants that don’t meet criteria how they can do even more to save water by helping them develop a plan of action to qualify for certification.
“We’ll come back at no charge and at their convenience. We clearly tell them where they missed the mark, what they need to do. We’re happy to go back to see progress and whether they have done what it takes to be certified, because we want them to save water,” said Guzman.
She stresses that all the information gathered during inspection for certification is kept confidential and at no time involves enforcement or penalties of any kind. Participation is strictly voluntary.
Photos of all Certified Water Partners are posted and tagged on El Paso Water Facebook and Twitter pages at least a few times a year. A short video also features some of the Partners. The publicity aims to publicly recognize these restaurants for their efforts, with hopes that other will follow.
More information on the program can be found online by selecting the conservation tab, and then clicking on the Certified Water Partner logo.