The US Water Alliance has announced the recipients of its 2019 US Water Prize. The honorees this year are: Camden SMART, EJ Water Cooperative, City of Cedar Rapids, Greenprint Partners, American Public Media & Great Lakes Today and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.
The US Water Prize is recognized as a prestigious award across the water community that celebrates outstanding work in changing how water is viewed, valued and managed. Awards are given in six categories — cross-sector partnership; public sector; private sector; non-profit; outstanding journalism on the value of water; and outstanding public official — to outstanding individuals and organizations that work to enhance water sustainability.
“We want to thank all of our amazing US Water Prize winners, and the entire field of applicants, for doing the hard work of changing the way this country views, values, and manages water,” said US Water Alliance CEO Radhika Fox. “Water is one of the most pressing issues of our time, and the water challenges we face are complicated. These innovative and inspiring leaders are demonstrating to the nation what is possible and how we can build a better water future for all.”
Each year the Alliance invites an independent panel of diverse One Water leaders to review the prize submissions and determine the US Water Prize winners. This year’s independent review panelists were Bevin Buchheister, senior policy analyst, National Governors Association; Juliet Christian-Smith, senior program officer, Water Foundation; Snehal Desai, chief growth officer, Evoqua Water Technologies; and Ted Henifin, general manager, Hampton Roads Sanitation District.
The following provides a brief summary of this year’s recipients:
- Cross-Sector Partnership. The Camden SMART Initiative won in the Cross-Sector Partnership category. The Initiative brings together institutions of higher education, philanthropy, and government to protect human health, foster economic development, improve water quality, and enhance quality of life for residents.
- Public Sector Category. The City of Cedar Rapids won in the Public Sector category for its leadership in the Middle Cedar Partnership Project, working with farmers and conservation organizations on water quality and soil health issues along the Cedar River.
- Private Sector Category. Greenprint Partners won in the Private Sector category for its work in Peoria, Illinois where it developed Well Farm, one of the first stormwater farms in the country. Greenprint used its Community Benefits Driven Design process to develop a project that is high-impact and delivers multiple benefits.
- Non-Profit Category. EJ Water Cooperative won the Non-Profit category for its innovative cross-utility work to deliver high quality water and high-speed fiber internet for rural residents in Illinois.
- Outstanding Journalism on the Value of Water. American Public Media and Great Lakes Today won in this category for its balanced reporting to spotlight an issue millions of Americans were unaware of-the struggle to afford water service, despite living in an area rich with water resources.
- Outstanding Public Official. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti won the Outstanding Public Official award for his commitment to progressive water policy and ambitious water recycling plans for Los Angeles. This year Mayor Garcetti announced Los Angeles will recycle 100 percent of its wastewater by 2035.
The US Water Prizes were distributed on the evening of Sept. 18, 2019, in Austin, Texas as part of the US Water Alliance’s One Water Summit, focused on sustainable water management that brings together close to 1,000 leaders from across the country.