US Water Prize for Outstanding Nonprofit Organization: San Juan Bay Estuary Program

US Water Alliance | August 24, 2021

San Juan Bay Estuary Program, also called Estuario, is an initiative restore and conserve the quality of the waters of the estuary's ecosystem in Puerto Rico. Estuario launched the Illicit Discharges Detection and Elimination (IDDE) Project, the only long-term strategy on the island for detecting and correcting illicit charges. Pinpointing illicit discharges allows Estuario to establish clear priorities and define a concrete action plan, and also enables PRASA (Puerto Rico’s only water utility) to maximize their time and resources. | More >

US Water Prize for Outstanding Artist: Salmon Speakers

US Water Alliance | August 24, 2021

Salmon Speakers first came together with the goal of amplifying Indigenous voices on both sides of the US-Canada border and inspiring collective action in communities within the Stikine, Taku, Unuk, Nass, and Skeena River valleys. Their efforts center around Indigenous sovereignty, equity, sustainability, food security, and food sovereignty. The team began their work by facilitating gatherings, story circles, and interviews in southeast Alaska and northwest British Columbia. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the team quickly adapted their work—moving from planning a live theatrical performance to a digital production.  | More >

US Water Prize for Outstanding Public Official: Congresswoman Melanie Stansbury (NM-1)

US Water Alliance | August 24, 2021

Congresswoman Melanie Stansbury is a dedicated One Water Champion. Prior to her election in 2021 to represent the first congressional district of New Mexico, Congresswoman Melanie Stansbury served as a state representative. As a state representative, Congresswoman Stansbury crafted, sponsored, and led the groundbreaking bipartisan legislation of the Water Data Act, signed into law in 2019.  | More >

US Water Prize for Outstanding Private Sector Organization: Microsoft

US Water Alliance | August 24, 2021

Microsoft is a leader in their field for adopting their Water Positive Program and committing to being water positive by 2030. Microsoft recognizes our world’s existing water shortage and is taking steps to meet this goal in two ways: by reducing water use intensity across their operations, and by replenishing more water in stressed basins than global water consumption across all basins.  | More >

US Water Prize for Outstanding Cross-Sector Partnership: KC Water Green Stewards Program

US Water Alliance | August 24, 2021

KC Water’s Green Stewards Program emerged out of their Smart Sewer Program, which is a 25-year plan to reduce and prevent sewer overflows in Kansas City, MO. It is the first Consent Decree in the nation to include green infrastructure as a means of capturing stormwater before it enters the sewer. The Green Stewards Program is a workforce development initiative that supports the maintenance and monitoring of green infrastructure across the city.  | More >

US Water Prize for Outstanding Artist: Friends of Gadsden Creek

US Water Alliance | August 24, 2021

Friends of Gadsden Creek mobilized as a grassroots, community-led campaign dedicated to opposing the destruction of Gadsden Creek—the last remaining salt marsh ecosystem on the peninsula of Charleston, South Carolina. Central to the campaign’s work is educating others about the history of Gadsden Creek and of the community that lives alongside it.   | More >

US Water Prize for Outstanding Rising One Water Leader: Dr. Lindsay Birt

US Water Alliance | August 24, 2021

Lindsay Birt, PhD and client solutions manager at Xylem, exemplifies what it means to be a leader in One Water. Through her technical expertise in agricultural and biological engineering, Dr. Birt fosters innovations in agricultural water, surface water, wastewater, and stormwater management. With a “watershed state of mind,” Lindsay emphasizes engagement and partnerships with stakeholders across the water sector to achieve comprehensive solutions to pressing water issues. Additionally, Lindsay is a staunch advocate for the implementation of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) practices and initiatives throughout the water world.  | More >

US Water Prize for Outstanding Journalism: Ian James and Colleagues, The Arizona Republic

US Water Alliance | August 24, 2021

Journalist Ian James, along with colleagues Rob O’Dell, Mark Henle, David Wallace, Nick Oza, and editor Shaun McKinnon at The Arizona Republic, have devoted extensive work to spotlighting pressing water challenges in the state of Arizona. The high-volume portfolio James continues to build upon includes detailed stories on groundwater depletion, the overall lack of water regulation in large portions of Arizona, and promising water management solutions, which have spurred water-related policy proposals in Arizona’s state legislature. His reporting has also examined the widespread problems of inadequate water access in Navajo and Hopi communities, which are compounded by the impacts of climate change and the lasting effects of mining and water sources tainted with hazardous contaminants.  | More >

Bipartisan Infrastructure Package Achieves Historic Investments, But More Is Needed

Scott Berry, Director of Policy and Government Affairs, US Water Alliance | August 10, 2021

After months of back-and-forth negotiations, and some intense work in the last few weeks, the bipartisan infrastructure package, known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), was passed by the Senate on August 10 by a solidly bipartisan vote of 69-30. The 2,702 page bill includes roughly $555 billion in spending for roads, bridges, rail, water, electric grid, and broadband infrastructure. As previously reported, the foundation for the water section of the bill was taken from the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act (S. 914), which overwhelmingly passed the Senate back in April. This Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill represents a tremendous and historic investment in the nation’s infrastructure. | More >

Stepping up on Climate Action with the Imagination Challenge

US Water Alliance Board Members; Al Cho of Xylem and Cindy Wallis-Lage of Black and Veatch | August 4, 2021

Did you know that our water systems contribute significantly to climate change? Recent studies estimate that water-related activities may account for upwards of 10% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. And water utilities can be the biggest user of electricity in a community. | More >