Leadership in Water Conservation Award

The Water Conservation Leadership Award recognizes an individual, business, group, or other organization that has demonstrated a commitment to protecting our water resources through water conservation.


Congratulations to Outback Steakhouse! outback logo


the Outback Steakhouse is the winner of the 2017 Leadership in Water Conservation Award! The Leadership in Water Conservation Award is presented by the Athens-Clarke County Water Conservation Office and recognizes an individual, business, or other organization that has demonstrated a commitment to protecting our water resources through Water Conservation.  

Outback Steakhouse was one of the first businesses to participate in Athens’ Certified Blue Program for restaurants and it went above and beyond the requirements of the program.  They demonstrated their commitment to conservation by making significant changes in operations and equipment in their kitchen.  For example they invested in efficient drip wells, they no longer use water to thaw frozen food, and they installed foot pedals under frequently used sinks.  Since joining the Certified Blue Program and investing in water saving strategies, their water use has declined by about 27% , which comes out to more than 1,000 gallons a day.  

About 65,000 people work in Athens.  By targeting employees and customers of businesses, Certified Blue broadens the audience of the Water Conservation and increases contact time with residents.  These individuals will be encouraged to conserve while they work and shop, and they may take that message home with them if it is reinforced throughout the day. In addition to helping with outreach and education, all of Athens’ Certified Blue Restaurants undergo a water use assessment, retrofit water-wasting fixtures, and fix leaks.

Congratulations to Jim and Sandy Whitney, winners of the 2015 Leadership in Water Conservation Award!

Jim and Sandy Whitney have been leaders in Water Conservation for many years. They made water conservation a priority by retrofitting their home with low-flow fixtures and having a plumber check for and repair leaks. The Whitneys have a strict policy to only run the washing machine and dishwasher when they are completely full.

While waiting for water to heat up in the shower, the Whitneys collect the cold water to prevent unnecessary waste. They use the collected cold water to flush their toilets, thus saving many gallons of water.

Conservation is practiced outside in their yard as well. The yard has been landscaped such that it does not require watering. Trees have been placed strategically to reduce heating and cooling costs and demand on resources. The backyard is terraced to help manage storm-water runoff.

Join us in commending the Whitneys for their excellent work as Leaders in Water Conservation in Athens-Clarke County!

Jim and Sandy Whitney

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Congratulations to Pilgrim's, winner of the 2014 Leadership in Water Conservation Award!
 Many of our industries in Athens made permanent changes to their processes in response to the water shortage from the drought in 2007 and 2008. Pilgrim's industrial facility stands out as a leader among them. Pilgrim's is the largest single water user in Athens. In fact, they account for about 8% of our total water use. So any changes they make to improve water-efficiency saves a lot of water. Their efforts have made a significant impact on our water demands, making our community more resilient to drought and other stressors on our water supply.


Congratulations, Pilgrim's, and thank you for being a wise water user!

Past Winners



2013 - Hotel Indigo

2012 - Clarke County School District - Fowler Drive Elementary School Renovations
and the Gilles Allard Family

2011 - the Benson Hospitality Group
and Merial ltd.

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