2018 US Water Prize Winners
Outstanding Public Sector Organization
Hampton Roads Sanitation District—Sustainable Water Initiative for Tomorrow
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. In addition to mitigating sea level rise, SWIFT safeguards drinking water supply, promotes Chesapeake Bay restoration, will reduce the frequency and magnitude of local flooding, and ensure the region’s economy has the water resource management and control it needs to thrive in the future.
Outstanding Private Sector Organization
Intel Corporation—Global Water Stewardship
As one of the world’s largest technology and semiconductor manufacturing companies, Intel Corporation is modeling sustainable water management in a water-intensive industry. Intel Corporation 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 Corporation is achieving its goals through innovative partnerships and water restoration projects. An example of this work is Intel’s partnership with the City of Chandler to use treated wastewater from an Arizona Intel site to replenish a local aquifer. These technological innovations and local partnerships serve to conserve and restore Intel’s water use.
Outstanding Nonprofit Organization
DIGDEEP—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. The Navajo Water Project provides seven rural communities with the tools and infrastructure necessary to gain water access for the first time. Through the Project, DigDeep is empowering community members, fostering partnerships, and promoting an equitable water future.
Outstanding Cross-Sector Partnership
Yahara WINS—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 Journalism on the Value of Water
Dan Egan—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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. Through his coverage, he has distinguished himself as the preeminent voice for the Lakes and galvanized the watershed around protecting the world’s largest single source of fresh water.
Outstanding Public Official
Greg Fischer—Mayor of Louisville, Kentucky
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. Mayor Fischer’s work illustrates his understanding that investment in our aging water, wastewater, and flood protection systems are part of the formula that will lead to a resilient Louisville.