Non-for-profit organisation Water Environment Federation (WEF) has opened its application period till 12 Apr 2023 for the Utility of the Future Today recognition (UotFT) programme, which seeks to honour water resource recovery facilities for community engagement, watershed stewardship, and recovery of resources such as water, energy, and nutrients.
The UotFT utilities serve as anchor institutions in their communities, with a focus on people both within the utility and within the community. Diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives are encouraged in all aspects of utility operations.
Its concept is being promoted as water systems transform operations through innovation and technology. The UotFT is a model for utilities of all sizes to achieve more efficient operations, enhanced productivity, and long-term sustainability. Since the programme launched in 2016, 203 utilities have been recognised with the honour.
The UotFT activity areas focus on community partnership and engagement, energy efficiency, energy generations and recovery, nutrient and materials recovery, water reuse, watershed stewardship and beneficial biosolids reuse.
Honourees will be notified during the summer and formally recognised during an awards ceremony at WEF technical exhibition and conference (WEFTEC) 2023 this October in Chicago.
Since the UotFT concept was introduced in 2013, many utilities have implemented new and creative programmes to address local wastewater technical and community challenges. The recognition programme is a partnership between the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), WEF, the Water Research Foundation (WRF), the WateReuse Association, and the US Water Alliance.