Frequently Asked Questions

What is the application process?

The application process starts with the submission of an application form and documentation to support your water-saving claims. An application fee, which covers the cost of administering the application process, is due before your application is considered. Once an application has been submitted it is allocated a unique reference code and we confirm when it will be assessed by the scheme's independent Technical Expert Panel. The Expert Panel meet quarterly to assess applications. Finally, we convey the outcome of application assessments approximately 10 business days after each Expert Panel meeting. If your application is approved, you can license the use of the Smart WaterMark logo to promote your approved product or service in Australia.

What types of products can apply to use the Smart Approved WaterMark label?

Any product that can prove that it saves water, such as:

  • Smart irrigation systems
  • Low-flow hoses/nozzles
  • Commercial cleaners
  • Pool technologies
  • Soil moisture and rain sensors
  • Mulches and soil wetting agents
  • Rainwater tanks and water butts
  • Greywater and treatment systems
  • Car wash technologies
  • Commercial catering equipment
  • Turf

What types of services can apply to use the Smart Approved WaterMark label?

Any service that can show how it saves water, such as:

  • Water-efficient plumbers
  • Water-saving retrofit services
  • Water-saving training and accreditation programs
  • Water-efficient design of occupied and new buildings
  • Maintenance programs for irrigation systems
  • Design services for water-efficient gardens and irrigation systems
  • Plant labeling schemes
  • Pool maintenance services
  • Rainwater harvesting maintenance

Why do I need to submit so much information when how my product works is self-explanatory?
Although SAWM uses an expert panel, with a wide range of experience and technical expertise you should assume that panel members are reading about your product or service for the first time and are not familiar with your particular product or how it works.

Do I have to have evidence to support all the properties of my product?

It is a good idea to provide evidence to support all your claims about the benefits of using your product even if the benefits are not about water. Of course, you have to provide evidence to support any water saving or water efficiency gains you claim.

What if independent testing is cost prohibitive?
SAWM can assess the water saving capabilities of products based on a variety of different test methods, so there may be ways in which products can be tested cost effectively. Multiple independent testimonials and case studies can also be assessed where trial work is not feasible.

Do I need to follow the suggested trial protocols or can I come up with one of my own?
As long as the alternate trial is scientifically valid, SAWM are happy to assess alternative trial methods and results.

Do I need to submit information on different models of the one product?
If there is different functionality between models, then these should be treated as separate products and separate information submitted. If the different models work in the same manner, then they can be assessed as part of the one application.


What is classed as ‘independent’ evidence?

“Independent” evidence is provided by any person or organisation who has no financial interest in the product or service that is the subject of the application. The independent evidence might be provided by a satisfied customer in a testimonial or from an independent testing authority.


Does the evidence just need to demonstrate the ability for the product or service to save water?
The evidence should support all claims made about the product. From a SAWM perspective the most critical is water saving but is should also meet the other criteria of being fit for purpose, meeting any relevant standards and regulations and being environmentally sustainable.

Will the author of the evidence report be contacted during the approval process?
The author will not automatically be contacted but it is possible. Client testimonials will always be followed up.


Can the evidence be supplied by consumers/users of the product?
SAWM does accept testimonials and case studies from consumers and users. They must be independent and their full contact details should be provided.


Is there an expiry date on evidence reports? i.e. how recently does the report need to have been written?
While there is no formal expiry date on evidence provided to support an application it is strongly recommended that all evidence should be no older than two years old and should be directly related to the model of the product in the application.

What are Referee Details?
Referee details are the contact details of your referees. We need them so that we can contact them in the event that there are questions arising from your application.


Why do I need to submit Referee Details?
We cannot contact your referees if we do not have their details. It may mean that we cannot process your application.

Can I download my application once I have completed it?

If you'd like a copy of your completed application form then please contact us and we will email you a copy.

Where do I find the guidelines?

Category guidelines are available here


Who has come up with these guidelines?
The product guidelines have been developed by the Expert Panel in consultation with the relevant industry association. For example, the swimming pool cover guidelines were developed with industry and the turf guidelines were developed in consultation with Turf Australia.


How do I know if I have submitted everything that is required?
We recommend you read through the application carefully when you have completed it to ensure you have filled in all the information. If you write that you are providing supporting evidence make sure you have attached the file or information you reference.


What information do I need prior to starting the application e.g. product specifications, case studies, testimonials?
We need the full contact details of the person or organisation making the application. A clear description of the product or service explaining how it saves water. Independent evidence to support the water saving claims you are making, which may take the form of testimonials, test results or case studies. Contact details of the providers of the independent evidence in case we need to contact them.


What is the turnaround time from the Expert Panel, same day, and one week?
The Expert Panel reviews applications at its quarterly meetings. Applications must be submitted at least 10 business days before the meeting. Advice on the result of the application will be provided within 10 business days of the Expert Panel meeting.

The Online Application process is quite fiddly. Can I just email you directly?
We are always keen to hear from applicants and we modify our forms to make sure they are as easy to complete as possible. If you have specific questions please don’t hesitate to contact us. It is important that you complete the form because this ensures we have all the information we need to address your application correctly. If you just email us you may not include some vital information which will mean your application will not be considered properly.


What if my product is a prototype and not yet in full production or use? In this case, what will you accept in the way of evidence that it will provide water savings when used?
It is important that the details of any product you submit to the Expert Panel for evaluation are the same as the product that will be commercially available. If you think your product may change from the prototype we recommend you wait until the final commercially available version is finalised before submitting an application.


If I submit a prototype application to try and gain approval, will you provide detailed feedback on what further information I need to submit? (This may help me decide on the viability of or efforts to gain investment for the next steps of production)
We can only provide feedback on whether the product, as submitted, meets the criteria for licensing. We cannot provide any design feedback on prototypes.

When do I need to provide WaterMark certification for a product?
The WaterMark Certification Scheme is a mandatory certification scheme for any plumbing and drainage products that are connected to the potable water supply. You will notice it as the label with the red W and it is an entirely different certification to the blue water drop logo used by Smart Approved WaterMark. The WaterMark certification is to ensure they are fit for purpose and appropriately authorised for use in plumbing and drainage installations.
https://www.abcb.gov.au/Product-Certification/Wate...

What is the most frequent reason a SAWM application is rejected or asked for more information?
Water saving by the product or service is at the heart of the Smart Approved WaterMark scheme. If applicants do not provide independent, supporting evidence of water saving resulting from the use of their product or service the panel cannot license the product or service. When there is doubt about the water savings, or if the evidence is not fully supported the applicant has the opportunity to provide more information. It is better to provide the required information on water saving in the first instance to avoid any delay.

Can I use testimonial from people who are using my product/service as an evidence of the water saving if it is hard to quantify the actual water saving?
Yes, testimonials are acceptable as evidence of the water saving, but they need to be authentic and provide some objective evidence of water saving experience by the user of your product or service. For example, you might provide a water bill showing how your consumption has dropped following the installation of the product.

I’m selling another company’s product already approved by the Smart WaterMark but under a different brand name, can I use the Smart WaterMark label?

Yes, contact us to discuss. If another company sells the approved product under a different brand name then this second company will need to apply for a Smart WaterMark license. We confirm with the original company that it is the same product and can then issue an out-of-session license.

I've got a great water-saving idea, how do I get it to market?

Check out Commercialisation Australia, an Australian Government initiative that assists researchers, entrepreneurs and innovative companies to convert intellectual property into successful commercial ventures.

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