2018 US Water Prize recipients announced

The US Water Alliance has announced the recipients of its 2018 US Water Prize. This prestigious annual award celebrates outstanding achievements in the advancement of sustainable, integrated and inclusive solutions to water management challenges. This year’s winners are:

Public Sector Winner

Hampton Roads Sanitation District for its SWIFT Project

Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD) is using innovative techniques in the face of sea level rise to take and clean wastewater and use it to recharge groundwater aquifers and prevent saltwater intrusion. HRSD’s Sustainable Water Initiative for Tomorrow program, or SWIFT, embodies One Water management by delivering multiple benefits to the region today and for generations to come. At full implementation, SWIFT will be one of the world’s largest groundwater recharge programs, delivering over 100 million gallons a day to the Potomac aquifer.

Private Sector Winner

Intel Corporation for Its Commitment to Water Replenishment

As one of the world’s largest technology and semiconductor manufacturing companies, Intel Corp. is modeling sustainable water management in a water-intensive industry. Intel Corp. is the first technology company to commit to restore 100 percent of its water use by 2025. Currently returning approximately 80 percent of its water use back to communities, Intel is achieving its goals through innovative partnerships and water restoration projects.

Non-Profit Winner

DIGDEEP for its Navajo Water Project

DigDeep is a human rights nonprofit dedicated to ensuring all Americans have clean and accessible running water. With more than 40 percent of households lacking running water, the Navajo Nation is one of the most water-poor areas in the country. Navajo are 67 times more likely than other Americans to live without running water. To address this inequity, DigDeep developed the Navajo Water Project and installed 105 home water systems in Navajo Communities in New Mexico.

Cross-Sector Partnership or Coalition

Yahara WINS for its Collaborative Approach to Adaptive Watershed Management

The Yahara Watershed Improvement Network, known as Yahara WINS, is supporting farms, beautiful natural resources, and rural and urban communities in Southern Wisconsin. The first winner of a US Water Prize in the Cross-Sector Partnership category, Yahara WINS brings together nontraditional partners and uses adaptive management to look at their watershed holistically and design interventions that address all sources of phosphorous—from homes and farms to wastewater treatment plants and MS4s—and prevent nutrients from harming the rivers, lakes, and streams in the region. Today, Yahara WINS is a coalition of 24 MS4s, three county conservation departments, three wastewater treatment plants, more than 300 participating farmers, and several agencies and environmental organizations across the watershed.

Outstanding Public Official

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, for his Commitment to Water Workforce Development

As the 50th Mayor of Louisville, Kentucky, Mayor Greg Fisher has contributed to substantial growth and advancement in the water sector both locally and nationally. He has championed multiple water-related initiatives, including the One Water Initiative, 100 Resilient Cities, Water System Regionalization, and the Louisville MSD Critical Repair and Re-investment Plan. Through these innovative initiatives, Mayor Fischer has improved customer service, identified revenue opportunities, and realized cost savings for the Louisville community.

Outstanding Journalism on the Value of Water

Dan Egan, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, for his incisive coverage of the Great Lakes

For the past 15 years, journalist Dan Egan has been reporting on the precarious state of the Great Lakes—reaching local, regional, and national audiences. The Great Lakes are critical to public health, quality of life, and economic vitality for over 30 million people, approximately 10 percent of the population. Mr. Egan has covered invasive species, the impact of farm runoff in Lake Erie, the drinking water shutdown in Toledo, the region’s crumbling pipelines, the decline of the fishing economy, and the successful Congressional approval of the Great Lakes Compact.

“Awarding the US Water Prize to an incredibly deserving group of organizations and individuals is one of the highlights of our work,” US Water Alliance CEO Radhika Fox said in 2017. “The Alliance created the US Water Prize to shine a light on the exemplary work happening in the water sector across the country. Congratulations to our winners-you inspire us to secure a sustainable water future for all.”

The 2018 US Water Prize was awarded in Minneapolis, Minnesota as part of the US Water Alliances One Water Summit 2018 in July. The One Water Summit brought together 900 water leaders from across the country. Community groups, water utilities, private sector companies, environmental and agricultural groups, and many more, attend the One Water Summit to participate in engaging discussion and problem solving around our nation’s most pressing water problems.

To learn more about the US Water Prize and to read more about this year’s winners, visit uswateralliance.org/one-water/us-water-prize.

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