News | August 10, 2016

Water Sector Groups To Recognize 61 Utilities For Exceptional Performance

Recipients of the Utility of the Future Today Recognition Program show success in innovative and sustainable utility management practices

A partnership of water sector organizations — the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), the Water Environment Federation (WEF), the Water Environment & Reuse Foundation (WE&RF) and the WateReuse Association — with input from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) — proudly announce the recipients of the inaugural Utility of the Future (UOTF) Today Recognition Program. The program celebrates the progress and exceptional performance of wastewater utilities while supporting the widespread adoption of the innovative UOTF business model.

Sixty-one public and private utilities from across the U.S., Canada, and Denmark selected from an impressive number of first year entries by a peer committee of utility leaders. The recipients will be recognized and honored during a September 27 ceremony that will be held in conjunction with WEFTEC 2016 — WEF’s 89th annual technical exhibition and conference — in New Orleans, La. The recipients will receive a display flag and a special certificate to further identify and promote their outstanding achievement as a Utility of the Future Today organization.

The UOTF concept was first introduced in 2013 to guide utilities of all sizes toward smarter, more efficient operations and a progression to full resource recovery with enhanced productivity, sustainability, and resiliency. Since then many utilities have successfully implemented new and creative programs to address local environmental and community priorities.

The selection committee selected utilities for recognition based upon the adoption of UOTF principles (water reuse, watershed stewardship, beneficial biosolids reuse, community partnering & engagement, energy efficiency, energy generation & recovery, and nutrient & materials recovery) as the “Organizational Culture of the Future.”

“Many utilities optimize their operations, consistently meet or exceed their regulatory requirements, and engage their employees and communities in meaningful and productive ways,” said WEF Executive Director Eileen O’Neill. “We are excited about this new opportunity to recognize the achievements of small, medium and large forward-thinking utilities that are providing sustainable, efficient, and value-added service to their communities.”

“EPA has been pleased to provide input to the partnering Associations on this important new program,” said Andrew Sawyers, Director of EPA’s Office of Wastewater Management. “We believe it will play an important role in EPA’s efforts to advance effective and sustainable practices that will help utilities across the sector on their journey to becoming the Utility of the Future.”

"NACWA applauds all the recipients of the inaugural Utility of the Future Recognition Program," said NACWA CEO Adam Krantz. "Utility leaders are engaged in unparalleled innovation and this recognition will inspire the sector as a whole to achieve still untapped economic and environmental benefits for their communities and the nation."

To learn more about the Utility of the Future (UOTF) Today Recognition Program, visit www.wefnet.org/utilityrecognition or contact UtilityRecognition@wef.org.

About WEF
Founded in 1928, Water Environment Federation is a not-for-profit technical and educational organization of 33,000 individual members and 75 affiliated Member Associations representing water quality professionals around the world. Since 1928, WEF and its members have protected public health and the environment. As a global water sector leader, our mission is to connect water professionals; enrich the expertise of water professionals; increase the awareness of the impact and value of water; and provide a platform for water sector innovation. For more information, visit www.wef.org.

About NACWA
The National Association of Clean Water Agencies is the leading advocate for responsible national policies that advance clean water. NACWA represents the collective interests of America's clean water utilities nationwide — and their clear commitment to America’s waters. For over 45 years, NACWA has been the clean water community’s voice in Congress, at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies, as well as in the media and in the courts. For more information, visit www.nacwa.org.

About WE&RF
The Water Environment & Reuse Foundation (WE&RF) is a 501c3 charitable corporation seeking to identify, support, and disseminate research that enhances the quality and reliability of water for natural systems and communities with an integrated approach to resource recovery and reuse; while facilitating interaction among practitioners, educators, researchers, decision makers, and the public. For more information, visit www.werf.org.

About WateReuse
WateReuse is an international thought-leader on alternative water supply development and the global go-to source for applied research, education, and advocacy on water reuse. Representing a coalition that includes utilities, government agencies, and industry; WateReuse works to educate policymakers and the public on the science, economic value, and environmental benefits of treating water to safely use it for designated purposes, such as irrigation, manufacturing, and drinking. For more information, visit www.watereuse.org.

SOURCE: Water Environment Federation (WEF)