Water utilities recognised for transformational initiatives

Thirty-two water utilities are being recognised for transformational work in community engagement, watershed stewardship, and recovery of resources such as water, energy, and nutrients.

The Utility of the Future Today recognition celebrates the achievements of water utilities that transform from the traditional wastewater treatment system to a resource recovery centre and leader in the overall sustainability and resilience of the communities they serve.

Utility of the Future Today was launched in 2016 by the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), the Water Environment Federation (WEF), the Water Research Foundation (WRF) and the WateReuse Association, with input from the United States (U.S.) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The concept is being promoted as water systems around the world are transforming operations through innovation and technology. The 32 utilities recognised this year are recovering resources from wastewater, engaging in their community, forming unique partnerships, and building an internal culture of innovation. 

“The Utility of the Future Today honourees exemplify the kind of forward-thinking leadership that strengthens the entire water sector,” said WEF Executive Director Eileen O’Neill. “We are thrilled to celebrate and recognise these utilities that not only embrace but expand water sector innovation.” 

These utilities are being recognised for the first time:

  • Beckley Sanitary Board (Western Virginia) 
  • Benton Harbor St. Joseph Joint Wastewater Treatment Plant (Michigan)
  • Carroll County Water Resources Coordination Council (Maryland)
  • City of Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (Michigan)
  • City of Grandville Clean Water Plant (Michigan)
  • City of Tallahassee (Florida) 
  • City of Wooster (Ohio) 
  • Delta Diablo (California)
  • Evesham Municipal Utilities Authority (New Jersey) 
  • Fort Wayne City Utilities (Indiana)
  • Great Lakes Water Authority (Michigan) 
  • Houston Water (Texas) 
  • Kenosha Water Utility (Wisconsin)
  • Lafayette Renew (Indiana)
  • Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (Boston)
  • Metro Wastewater Reclamation District (Denver) 
  • Napa Sanitation District (California)
  • Queensland Urban Utilities (Australia)
  • Region of Waterloo (Ontario, Canada) 
  • Renewable Water Resources (Greenville, South Carolina)
  • Spokane County Environmental Services (Washington)
  • Toho Water Authority (Kissimmee, Florida)
  • Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (Laurel, Maryland)
  • Water Environment Services (Oregon City, Oregon)
  • Western Monmouth Utilities Authority (Manalapan, New Jersey)
  • Western Virginia Water Authority (Roanoke, Virginia)

These utilities are being recognised for a second year but for a new area of performance:

  • Charlotte Water (North Carolina)
  • Clean Water Services (Hillsboro, Oregon) 
  • Columbus Water Works (Georgia)
  • St. Cloud Public Utilities (Minnesota)

These utilities are being recognised for a third year and in a new area of performance:

  • City of Fayetteville (Arkansas) 
  • DC Water (District of Columbia)

Honourees will be recognised during an awards ceremony at WEFTEC 2018 – WEF’s 91st annual technical exhibition and conference – this October in New Orleans, Louisiana.