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eBay and VMware Join the WaterGenius Challenge to Help Save Water During the Drought

Silicon Valley companies promote new employee competition to encourage water saving projects and actions. Employees receive prizes for individual water savings.

eBay and VMware have both announced their participation in the WaterGenius Challenge, a unique employee engagement pilot program designed to help the two companies’ Silicon Valley-based employees save water at home.

“We’re very excited to have two of Silicon Valley’s most innovative companies join the WaterGenius Challenge,” said Brian Gitt, President and CEO of BKi, the consulting and software company that developed WaterGenius. “This program empowers their employees to save water during the drought in the most effective ways possible.”

The WaterGenius Challenge is taking place internally, among eBay and VMware employees. Participating employees use WaterGenius.com/Challenge to learn about simple actions and home projects for saving water. Project recommendations are customized based on specific local water utility rates and available rebates. From installing high efficiency toilets, upgrading lawns to a drought tolerant alternative, or exercising conservation behaviors such as turning the water off while brushing their teeth, employees earn points for their achievements over the entire length of the competition. Individuals will be eligible for prizes and rewards offered by each employer.

“The WaterGenius Challenge is an exciting and interactive way to encourage our employees to go the extra mile to save water at home,” said Lori Duvall, Director of Global Impact, eBay. “At eBay, we prioritize finding ways to reduce resource consumption and carbon emissions in our operations, but individual action can also play an important part in helping the planet. The WaterGenius Challenge helps motivate employees to think about and lower their water usage in an engaging way.”

“Conserving water has been a top-priority at our Palo Alto headquarters, and so far we have reduced our irrigation water usage on campus by nearly 50% compared to last year,” said Nicola Acutt, VMware’s Vice President of Sustainability and Giving. “With the WaterGenius Challenge, VMware is committed to inspiring our employees to action and make a difference not only at work but in their own homes and communities.”

This fall’s WaterGenius Challenge is made possible in part by the Santa Clara Valley Water District, which awarded BKi an innovation grant to implement the program.

“Over 90% of Californians are willing to make 'Significant Changes' to their own water use,” noted Jerry De La Piedra, Santa Clara Valley Water District’s Water Use Efficiency Manager, referring to a recent statewide poll commissioned by the Association of California Water Agencies. “The WaterGenius Challenge provides critical information to homeowners who are eager to make impactful change, but often don’t know where to start. We can’t wait to see how these two tech giants show their commitment to helping the County achieve our water use reduction target.”

WaterGenius is available for free at WaterGenius.com. Large employers interested in participating in their own WaterGenius Challenge can email challenge@watergenius.com. Stay up to date on the WaterGenius Challenge by following @WaterGenius_CA on Twitter #WaterGeniusChallenge.

About BKi
California-based BKi creates innovative market-driven consulting and software solutions for energy, water, and transportation. The company has delivered hundreds of successful projects tailored to the needs of governmental and utility clients, including Santa Clara Valley Water District, East Bay MUD, PG&E, Southern California Edison, and the California Energy Commission. In 2015, BKi launched its first online tools aimed at helping consumers save water and resources: WaterGenius, which helps California homeowners save water in their homes during the drought, and UtilityScore, which provides house hunters with a simple way to identify the estimated utility costs of a home before they buy.

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