The Utility of the Future Today Recognition Programme is now open for nominations

The Utility of the Future Today Recognition Programme, returning for its second year, has opened its doors for nomination until 5pm EDT on the 9th of June, Friday. The Programme brings attention to facilities dealing in water resource recovery carrying out the innovative Utility of the Future business model.

The project aims to promote and honour the water utilities that are depending and building on the groundwork of exceptional management and aid utilities ranging from small, medium, and large revamp their operations over a period of time.

“The innovations coming to the water sector present an opportunity for a shift in the way utilities think about and solve long-standing challenges,” Water Environment Federation (WEF) Executive Director, Eileen O’Neill, said. “WEF and other partners are excited to recognise and salute those utilities that are embracing innovative ways to better serve their communities.”

The Utility of the Future programme focus on several key areas: Finding out new uses and recovery of a full range of resources; taking on a leadership role not only in the full water cycle, but also in the broader economic, environmental, and social sustainability of the community they are in; transforming the internal culture of the utility to support innovation; and forming partnerships and engaging the community in order to ensure success when the utility operates outside of the conventional areas of control

Water resource recovery plants from both the public and private sectors of the industry are encouraged to apply for the programme on the condition that they have no major permit violations in the year prior to the date of submission. Honourees will be informed by July 28th, Friday, amd formally acknowledged at an awards ceremony held during WEFTEC 2017 – WEF’s yearly technical exhibition and conference, now in its 90th edition – this coming October in Chicago, the United States (US).

“EPA (US Environmental Protection Agency) is proud to support and provide advice for the Utility of the Future Today Recognition Programme and we commend our association colleagues for their leadership,” Sustainability Programme Manager, Office of Wastewater Management at EPA, James Horne, said. “The programme recognises a range of utilities that have truly embraced the future as 21st century service providers and it also aligns with EPA’s priorities to promote sustainability across the water sector.”

For utilities who want to learn more about the programme, two informative webinars are scheduled from 1 to 2pm EDT on April 12th, Wednesday, and May 3rd, Wednesday. The sessions will offer participants the chance to make enquiries.

Since its initiation in 2013, the Utility of the Future concept has led many water recovery facilities to successfully realise many new and innovative projects to tackle local wastewater technical and community issues. Four water sector organisations – the Water Environment & Research Foundation (WE&RF), the Water Environment Federation (WEF), the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), and with additional support from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – introduced the recognition programme in 2016.

The first 61 honourees from the recognition programme were featured in the WEFTEC 2016 held in New Orleans, US.