Twenty-five water utilities have been selected for recognition of their leadership in community engagement, watershed stewardship, and recovery of resources such as water, energy and nutrients.

Utility of the Future Today recognition celebrates the achievements of forward-thinking, innovative water utilities that are providing resilient value-added service to communities.

The Utility of the Future framework provides a model for utilities of all sizes to achieve more efficient operations, enhanced productivity and long-term sustainability.

Related: WEF Announces 2014 Fellows Recipients

The recognition program component, Utility of the Future Today, was launched in 2016 by four water sector organizations — the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), the Water Environment Federation (WEF), the Water Environment & Reuse Foundation (WE&RF) and WateReuse, with input from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The Utility of the Future concept is being promoted as the nation’s water systems transform operations through innovation and technology. The 25 utilities recognized in 2017 are engaging their communities, forming unique partnerships and building an internal culture of innovation through wastewater recovery.

 “The innovations occurring within the water sector collectively present an opportunity for a paradigm shift in the way utilities think about and solve long-standing challenges,” says Dr. Eileen O’Neill, executive director of WEF. “WEF is excited to recognize these utilities that are already embracing innovative ways to better serve their communities.”  

Related: WEF Announces 2015 Awards Recipients

The following utilities are being recognized for the first time:

• Atlantic County Utilities Authority (New Jersey) 

• Beaufort-Jasper Water & Sewer Authority (South Carolina) 

Related: WEF Honors Water Professionals, Organizations for Service and Contributions

• Brunswick Regional Water and Sewer (North Carolina) 

• Chesterfield County Department of Utilities (Virginia) 

• City of Cape Coral (Florida) 

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• Little Rock Water Reclamation Authority (Arkansas) 

• City of Phoenix (Arizona) 

• City of Quincy (Washington)

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• City of Raleigh Public Utilities Department (North Carolina) 

• City of St. Cloud (Minnesota) 

• Columbus Water Works (Georgia) 

• Greenville Renewable Water Resources (South Carolina) 

• Greenwood Metropolitan District (South Carolina)  

• Hanover Sewerage Authority (New Jersey) 

• Lancaster Area Sewer Authority (Pennsylvania) 

• Loudoun Water (Virginia) 

• Lowell Regional Utility (Massachusetts) 

• West County Wastewater District (California) 

These utilities are being recognized for a second year but for a new area of performance:

• City of Fayetteville (Arkansas) 

• DC Water (District of Columbia) 

• Gwinnett County (Georgia) 

• King County (Washington) 

• Miami-Dade Water & Sewer (Florida) 

• San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (California) 

• Tucson Water (Arizona) 

 Honorees will be recognized during an awards ceremony at WEFTEC 2017 this October in Chicago. For more information, visit

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