The WateReuse Association recognized the best and the brightest in the water reuse sector during the Annual Awards for Excellence luncheon on Monday, September 10 during the 33rd Annual WateReuse Symposium in Austin, Texas. The awards program recognizes individuals, projects, and organizations that have made significant contributions in support of greater adoption of water reuse.
Community Water Champion
The Community Water Champion Award recognizes utilities or local government entities that showcase exemplary water reuse projects, systems, or facilities that demonstrate the value of water reuse to the community served by them. The following Community Champion Awards were presented:
- The City of Los Angeles, LA Sanitation developed the One Water LA 2040 Plan, a holistic and multi-agency approach that considers all water resources as “One Water” – including surface water, groundwater, potable water, wastewater, recycled water, dry-weather runoff, and stormwater.
- The cities of Modesto and Turlock in collaboration with Del Puerto Water District established the North Valley Regional Recycled Water Program to deliver recycled water for agriculture in California’s Central Valley.
- A $9M wastewater treatment plant expansion and 17 acres of constructed wetlands helped the City of Silverton, Oregon meet stringent regulations and create Oregon Garden, a 220-acre world-class botanical garden designed to further treat wastewater and revitalize the local tourism economy.
Excellence In Action
The Excellence in Action Award recognizes users of recycled water, including utility customers, commercial enterprises, government agencies, NGOs, or partnerships between utilities and their customers, to showcase how recycled water is used for commercial operations, watershed restoration projects, irrigation or other projects. The following Excellence in Action Awards were presented:
- The Anne Arundel County Department of Public Works (Maryland) and Raven Power entered into an agreement to supply treated effluent to the Brandon Shores Power Plant for cooling purposes, resulting in a cost savings of $13M.
- The City of Show Low, Arizona, in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and the Arizona Game and Fish Commission, created the Show Low Wetlands, a 250-acre constructed wetland that uses recycled water to establish a habitat for fish, waterfowl and other wildlife in the area.
- Irvine Ranch Water District partnered with Hyatt House Irvine to plan for and construct California’s first dual-plumbed hotel facility that includes all toilets and urinals – including in 149 guest rooms, lobby area, pool area and employee facilities.
The Transformational Innovation Award recognizes technological advances, research breakthroughs, and/or innovative practices that advance the adoption, implementation and/or public acceptance of recycled water. The following Transformational Innovation Awards were presented:
- The Arizona Pure Water Brew Challenge brought together Arizona wastewater treatment facilities, a fully operational mobile advanced water purification facility, brewers, and the issuance of Arizona’s first potable reuse permit for education and a contest for the best beer brewed with purified water.
- The National Science Foundation and the University of Miami collaborated on an Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation (EFRI) project entitled “Design for Autonomous Net-Zero Water Buildings.” They project developed an onsite recycling system that was successfully used in a dormitory for 12 months.
- The Gwinnett County Department of Water Resources (Georgia) partnered with CDM Smith and Stantec to evaluate more economical alternatives for inland potable reuse through a collaborative Water Research Foundation project, Pilot Testing of Ozone Biofiltration for Direct Potable Reuse.
The Advocacy Achievement Awards recognizes individuals and organizations for significant achievements in advancing policy reforms that facilitate greater adoption, implementation or acceptance of recycled water, and/or has provided exemplary service to the water reuse sector. The following Advocacy Achievement Awards were presented:
- Michael Graves, Vice President, Garver, has been successful in both setting the pace for legislative and regulatory guidance as well as demonstrating leadership, creativity and persistence in supporting water reuse across Oklahoma.
- Rick Warner, Senior Engineer, Washoe County, Nevada has been at the forefront of potable water reuse advocacy within the U.S. and around the world in his roles as past president of the Water Environment Federation and as senior engineer for Washoe County, Nevada.
- WateReuse Colorado developed a Colorado direct potable reuse (DPR) regulatory framework and partnered on the PureWater Colorado Direct Potable Reuse Demonstration project to advance potable reuse in the state.
Outreach And Education
The Outreach and Education Award recognizes significant success in advancing public acceptance of recycled water. The following Outreach and Education Award was presented:
- On a shoestring budget and with only eight weeks to debut at an open house event, the Soquel Creek Water District developed the Pure Water Soquel Mobile Educational Trailer, creating a fun and education experience for audiences.
- Up And Comer
- The Up and Comer Award recognizes a water reuse professional with less than 10 years in the recycled water sector for his/her leadership and commitment to pursuing water recycling as a career path. The following Up and Comer Award was presented:
- Pranjali S. Kumar, Environmental Engineer, Carollo Engineers is only four years into her professional career, but she has been a key staff member of three industry leading potable reuse pilot projects.
WateReuse President’s Award
This award recognizes significant contributions to the advancement of water reuse through exceptional service and leadership. WateReuse President Paul Jones of the Eastern Municipal Water District presented the following President’s Awards:
- The City of Wichita Falls implemented the first high profile direct potable reuse project in the United States in 2014 and successfully engaged the city’s medical community to address public concerns.
- Tom Taggart, Executive Director, Public Services, City of San Marcos, Texas is immediate past President of WateReuse Texas and Executive Director of Public Services for the City of San Marcos where he leads and directs the city’s water, electric, and transportation services divisions. He is a vocal advocate for water reuse in Texas.
Margie Nellor is nationally recognized as an expert on clean water issues dealing with the development and implementation of water quality standards, total maximum daily loads, and pretreatment regulations. Margie has had a tremendous impact on advancing water reuse, including service as President of the WateReuse Association.
About The WateReuse Association
The WateReuse Association is the only national trade association dedicated solely to advancing laws, regulations, funding and public acceptance for water recycling. Our members include utilities, businesses, and institutions that are achieving water resiliency through policy, projects, innovation, education and knowledge sharing.