We present systematic kinetic studies of the interaction of a rhenium-based photosensitizer with a cobalt(II) tetrapyridyl water reduction catalyst coadsorbed on ZrO2 by transient IR and visible spectroscopies. The study focuses on the competition between the reduction of the excited photosensitizer by an electron donor in solution and nonproductive quenching between the photosensitizer and the catalyst, either by Dexter energy transfer or by electron transfer followed by ultrafast geminate recombination. The implications of both interactions for the charge transfer reactions on the surface are investigated. We find that the kinetics of the system as a whole and the achievable yield of reduced photosensitizer are determined by the inhomogeneous distribution of next neighbor distances between photosensitizers and the water reduction catalysts at the nanoscale level. This provides insight for rational design of heterogeneous water splitting systems with coimmobilized photosensitizers and catalysts.