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USA: The application period is open for the Utility of the Future Today recognition program, which honors water resource recovery facilities for community engagement, watershed stewardship, and recovery of resources such as water, energy, and nutrients. The Utility of the Future is a model for utilities of all sizes to achieve more efficient operations, enhanced productivity, and long-term sustainability. Since the program launched in 2016, 118 utilities have been recognized with the honor.

“WRF-sponsored research has served as the foundation of many of the forward-leaning practices that define a Utility of the Future,” said Peter Grevatt, WRF CEO. “We are pleased to participate as partners to help and take this important program to the next level!”

The Utility of the Future activity areas focus on the key building blocks of this transformation:

  • Recovery and new uses of a range of resources,
  • Engagement as a leader in the full water cycle and broader social, economic, and environmental sustainability of the community,
  • Engagement in the community and formation of partnerships necessary for success when operating outside of the traditional span of the utility, and
  • Transformation of the internal utility culture in support of these innovations.

Public and private water sector utilities of all sizes that can demonstrate achievement of the application requirements are encouraged to apply by July 17 at 5 p.m. EDT. Applicants must have no major permit violations in the year prior to the submission date of their applications. Honorees will be formally recognized during an awards ceremony at WEFTEC 2020.

Since the Utility of the Future concept was introduced in 2013, many utilities have successfully implemented new and creative programs to address local wastewater technical and community challenges. The recognition program 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) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

The Water Research Foundation (WRF) is a 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 USD 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.

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