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USA: The forward-thinking initiatives of 65 water utilities are being recognized as they reimagine partnering and engagement, watershed stewardship, and recovery of resources such as water, energy, and nutrients.

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

The 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 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The ‘Utility of the Future’ concept is being promoted as water systems around the world are transforming operations through innovation and technology. The 65 utilities recognized this year are recovering resources from wastewater, leading community engagement, forming unique partnerships, and building an internal culture of innovation.

“Each of the utilities being recognized as Utility of Future Today honorees are leading the way towards a more sustainable future that protects public health and the environment in the communities they serve,” said WRF CEO Peter Grevatt. “The Water Research Foundation is delighted to join in the celebration of their exciting accomplishments!”

These utilities are being recognized for the first time:

  • Anne Arundel County (Md.) Department of Public Works, Bureau of Utility Operations
  • Austin Water (Austin, Texas)
  • Capitol Region Watershed District (St. Paul, Minn.)
  • Central Arkansas Water (Little Rock, Ark.)
  • City of Altamont Springs (Altamont Springs, Fla.)
  • City of Berryville Wastewater Treatment Plant (Berryville, Ark.)
  • City of Boca Raton Utility Services (Boca Raton, Fla.)
  • City of Edmonds (Edmonds, Wash.)
  • City of Oceanside (Oceanside, Calif.)
  • City of Pismo Beach (Pismo Beach, Calif.)
  • City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services (Portland, Ore.)
  • City of Zeeland Clean Water Plant (Zeeland, Mich.)
  • Douglasville-Douglas County Water and Sewer Authority (Douglasville, Ga.)
  • Eastern Municipal Water District (Perris, Calif.)
  • EPCOR USA (Phoenix, Ariz.)
  • Global Water Resources (Phoenix, Ariz.)
  • Holland Board of Public Works (Grand Rapids, Mich.)
  • Irvine Ranch Water District (Irvine, Calif.)
  • Kinross Charter Township (Grand Rapids, Mich.)
  • Lehigh County Authority (Allentown, Pa.)
  • Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (Los Angeles, Calif.)
  • McAllen Public Utility (McAllen, Texas)
  • Moulton Niguel Water District (Aliso Viejo, Calif.)
  • Orange County Utilities (Orlando, Florida)
  • Padre Dam Municipal Water District (Santee, Calif.)
  • Puttman Infrastructure, Inc. (Portland, Oregon)
  • Ray Bullard Water Reclamation Facility (West Melbourne, Fla.)
  • San Marcos Wastewater Treatment Plant (San Marcos, Texas)
  • Silicon Valley Clean Water (Redwood City, Calif.)
  • South Platte Renewal Partners (Englewood, Colo.)
  • Southern Nevada Water Authority (Las Vegas, Nevada)
  • The Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner’s Office (Waterford, Mich.)
  • Truckee Meadows Water Authority (Reno, Nev.)
  • Water Replenishment District (Lakewood, Calif.)
  • West Basin Municipal Water District (Carson, Calif.)

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

  • City of San Luis Obispo Utilities Department (San Luis Obispo, Calif.)
  • City of Tacoma, Environmental Services Department, Wastewater Utility (Tacoma, Wash.)
  • Fairfax County Wastewater Management (Lorton, Va.)
  • Glenbard Wastewater Authority (Glen Ellyn, Ill.)
  • Hampton Roads Sanitation District (Virginia Beach, Va.
  • LA Sanitation and Environment (Los Angeles, Calif.)
  • Metropolitan Council (St. Paul, Minn.)
  • Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (Chicago, Ill.)
  • Narragansett Bay Commission (Providence, R.I.)
  • Pima County Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department (Tucson, Ariz.)
  • Spartanburg Water (Spartanburg, S.C.)
  • University Area Joint Authority (State College, Pa.)
  • Benton Harbor-St. Joseph Joint Wastewater Treatment Plant (St. Joseph, Mich.)
  • Western Monmouth Utilities Authority (Manalapan, N.J.)
  • Broward County Water and Wastewater Operations – North Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant (Pompano Beach, Fla.)
  • Watercare Services Ltd (Auckland, New Zealand)

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

  • Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority (Albuquerque, N.M.)
  • Delta Diablo, (Antioch, Calif.)
  • Great Lakes Water Authority (Detroit, Mich.)
  • Houston Water (Houston, Texas)
  • King County Wastewater Treatment Division, Seattle, Wash.
  • Orange County Sanitation District (Fountain Valley, Calif.)
  • San Francisco Public Utilities (San Francisco, Calif.)
  • Toho Water Authority (Kissimmee, Fla.)
  • Renewable Water Resources (Greenville, S.C.)

These utilities are being recognized for the fourth year and in a new area of performance:

  • Charlotte Water (Charlotte, N.C.)
  • City of St. Cloud Public Utilities (St. Cloud, Minn.)
  • City of Tucson Water (Tucson, Ariz.)

These utilities are being recognized for the fifth year and in a new area of performance:

  • City of Fayetteville (Fayetteville, Ark.)
  • Clean Water Services (Hillsboro, Ore.)

Honorees will be recognized during a pre-recorded awards ceremony on Oct. 9 at 11 a.m. ET during WEFTEC Connect.

The Water Environment Federation is a not-for-profit technical and educational organization of 35,000 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.

For nearly 50 years, the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) has been the nation’s recognized leader in legislative, regulatory and legal advocacy on the full spectrum of clean water issues. NACWA represents public wastewater and stormwater agencies of all sizes nationwide.

The Water Research Foundation (WRF) is the world’s leading research organization advancing the science of all water to meet the evolving needs of its subscribers and the water sector. WRF is a non-profit, educational organization that funds, manages, and publishes research on the technology, operation, and management of drinking water, wastewater, reuse, and stormwater systems – all in pursuit of protection of public health and the environment. WRF represents approximately 1,200 subscribers, hosts an online research library of more than 2,300 completed projects valued at $700 million, manages an innovation platform with a database of more than 140 innovative technologies, and supports the world’s largest body of stormwater best practice data.

The WateReuse Association is solely dedicated to advancing laws, policy, funding, and public acceptance of recycled water. The WateReuse Association represents a coalition of utilities that recycle water, businesses that support the development of recycled water projects, and users of recycled water.

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