Feb 7, 2024
Partnership supports water usage research and education

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation and the Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE) announced an extension of their partnership that will support research to improve the efficiency of lawns and other landscapes. The grant helps to fund environmental programs through December 2025.

“We are honored to receive this funding from The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation, which continues our long-standing partnership to research how to design, grow, and irrigate lawns and other landscapes to save water and enhance the environment,” said Ron Burke, president and CEO, AWE. “This 2024 funding will allow us to evaluate landscape transformation programs and create resources that can help water efficiency and conservation practitioners in their day-to-day work.”

“We’re so excited to continue our partnership with AWE,” said Brian Herrington, president of The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation. “We’ve seen firsthand the benefits of water conservation research and look forward to the results of our new planned project with AWE. Collaborations with leaders like AWE are important to making a positive impact on the world.”

The new projects within this grant agreement centers on helping households use water wisely outdoors, including:

  • The Creation of a guidebook for smart practices in utility-sponsored residential landscape and irrigation programs, which have evolved beyond the traditional financial rebate models. The Guidebook will help water utilities and city water departments effectively design and implement landscape transformation and irrigation programs to save water and enhance the environment.
  • A research project to collect and synthesize current knowledge of behavior-based strategies that help residents irrigate smarter and use less water on household landscapes. Behavior-based strategies focus on using insights from psychology and behavioral science to help individuals make more optimal decisions about when and how much to water, which can enhance other strategies like changing out irrigation equipment or transforming landscapes. This project will include real-life experiments piloting behavior-based strategies.

“Utility-sponsored residential landscape transformation programs have significantly grown over the past decade to increase water savings and address barriers to households successfully adapting their landscapes to a changing climate,” said Liesel Hans, PhD, director of programs, AWE. “We are excited to explore the wide range of innovative programs that exist and then synthesize the smart practices into a singular resource that utilities can reference in building out programs in their communities. We are particularly interested in focusing on efforts that have an eye toward advancing equity and improving access to programs. We look forward to digging into the data in the coming months and are hopeful about the impact this study can have in the field.”

The projects will focus on residential landscapes by exploring the evolution of strategies that water utilities are employing to support customers with landscape transformations, identifying behavioral strategies, and evaluating programs designed to help residents optimize water used for irrigation on household landscapes to maximize water savings and other benefits.

About the Alliance for Water Efficiency

The Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE) is a North American 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the sustainable and efficient use of water. Based in Chicago, AWE works with over 500 member agencies made up of water utilities, water conservation professionals in business and industry, policymakers, nonprofits, and researchers. As the leading voice for water efficiency, AWE’s platform brings together innovative technical resources to facilitate the adoption of water conservation programs, cutting-edge research to address pressing challenges, and a collaborative dialogue amongst stakeholders to further advance water conservation and efficiency across North America. allianceforwaterefficiency.org.

About The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation

The mission of The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation is to inspire, connect and cultivate a community of purpose. The Foundation is deeply rooted in helping create healthier communities, empower the next generation and preserve our planet. The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization that funds non-profit entities that support its core initiatives in the form of grants, endowments and multi-year capital gifts. For more information, visit scottsmiraclegrofoundation.org.