Program celebrates excellent performance and builds on the success of innovative and sustainable utility management practices
On the eve of Earth Day 2016, a partnership of water sector organizations—the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), the Water Environment Federation (WEF), the Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) and WateReuse—with support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)—proudly announce a new Utility of the Future (UOTF) Today Recognition Program. The program will celebrate the progress and exceptional performance of our nation’s wastewater utilities while supporting the widespread adoption of the innovative UOTF business model.
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 wastewater technical and community challenges.
The UOTF Today Recognition Program will build on this success by celebrating these advancements and experiences; encouraging 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;” and enabling participants across a broad range of capacities and capabilities to collaborate, learn, and continue to evolve as a unified sector.
“Promoting utilities of the future and the sector-wide adoption of resource recovery remains a top priority for WEF,” 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 communities nationwide.”
“EPA is pleased to provide input to the partnering Associations on this important new program. 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,” said Andrew Sawyers, Director, Office of Wastewater Management, U.S. EPA.
Public and private wastewater utilities of all sizes are encouraged to apply by 5:00 p.m. EDT, June 17, 2016. Applicants must have no major permit violations in the past year prior to the submission date of their applications. Winners will be notified by July 29 and announced/officially recognized during an awards ceremony at WEFTEC 2016—WEF’s 89th annual technical exhibition and conference—this September in New Orleans, La.