2014 US Water Prize Winners
Alliance for Water Efficiency
The sustainable and efficient use of water is the foundation for a one water future. That is why he Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE) was awarded a 2014 Water Prize. AWE is a nonprofit organization dedicated solely to promoting the efficient and sustainable use of water in North America. Before AWE, no national organization was focused on water efficiency, though for decades there has been considerable efforts around energy efficiency. AWE works to integrate water efficiency into resource management, climate resiliency, and energy policy planning. It unites multiple sectors to demonstrate how efficiency benefits diverse objectives: utility economic viability, environmental benefits, job creation at national, state, and local levels.
Investment in research is essential to our one water future. That is why the US Water Alliance chose to honor American Water with a 2014 US Water Prize. American Water has exemplified that an investment in research is a commitment to sound utility management and a more sustainable water future. American Water’s Innovation & Environmental Stewardship team consists of more than 20 scientists, with a budget of more than $3 million, fully dedicated to environmental protection and research in the fields of engineering, chemistry, microbiology, public health, and environmental science. American Water’s research and development is trusted by industry leaders and prominent researchers around the world. Leading water authorities regularly use American Water’s research to develop federal drinking water standards and regulations.
Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati
Our one water future will require innovative methods and approaches to eliminate combined sewer overflows. The Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati (MSD) received the 2014 Water Prize for its Project Groundwork, a plan to reduce and eliminate sewer overflows into local creeks and rivers that also created community benefits. The largest public works projects in the county’s 200-plus year history, Project Groundwork integrates green and gray infrastructure to maximize ratepayer benefits. The plan includes the Lower Mill Creek project, eliminating 1.78 billion gallons of combined sewer overflows annually. In addition, an urban waterway or Valley Conveyance System will be constructed in the Lick Run Watershed to channel stormwater during heavy flows. Community benefits such as a walking and biking paths, improved civic recreation space, and bridges are included.
Orange County Water District and Orange County Sanitation District
The development of the world’s largest advanced water purification system for potable reuse is a tremendous step toward our one water future. That is why Orange County’s Ground Water Replenishment System (GWRS) was a 2014 Water Prize recipient. The GWRS takes treated wastewater that otherwise would be sent to the Pacific Ocean and purifies it for potable reuse, using a three-step advanced process. The result is high-quality water that exceeds state and federal drinking water standards. Operational since January 2008, the GWRS can produce 70 million gallons of high purity water every day, which is enough for nearly 600,000 residents. The GWRS is one of the most celebrated civil engineering and water reuse projects in the world.