Application Period Extended to June 20 for Utility of the Future Today Recognition Program

Global program enters second year of celebrating excellent performance 
and innovative and sustainable utility management practices
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The application period has been extended to June 20 for the 2017 Utility of the Future Today Recognition Program. Now in its second year, the program seeks to promote and recognize utilities that are building on a foundation of excellent management and help small, medium, and large utilities transform their operations over time.

“The innovations coming to the water sector present an opportunity for a shift in the way utilities think about and solve long-standing challenges,” said WEF Executive Director Eileen O’Neill. “WEF and the other partners are excited to recognize and salute those utilities that are embracing innovative ways to better serve their communities.”

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

  • recovery and new uses of a full range of resources;
  • engagement as a leader in the full water cycle and broader social, economic, and environmental sustainability of the community;
  • transformation of the internal utility culture in support of these innovations; and
  • engagement in the community and formation of partnerships necessary for success when operating outside of the traditional span of control of the utility.
Public and private water resource recovery facilities of all sizes are encouraged to apply by 5 p.m. EDT, June 20, 2017. Applicants must have no major permit violations in the past year prior to the submission date of their applications. Honorees will be notified by July 28 and formally recognized during an awards ceremony at WEFTEC 2017—WEF’s 90th annual technical exhibition and conference—this October in Chicago.

“EPA is proud to support and provide advice for the Utility of the Future Today Recognition Program and we commend our association colleagues for their leadership,” said James Horne, Sustainability Program Manager, Office of Wastewater Management at EPA.  “The program recognizes a range of utilities that have truly embraced the future as 21st century service providers and it also aligns with EPA’s priorities to promote sustainability across the water sector.”

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 last year by four water sector organizations—the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), the Water Environment Federation (WEF), the Water Environment & Research Foundation (WE&RF) and WateReuse—with support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The recognition program’s first 61 honorees were featured during WEFTEC 2016 in New Orleans.