WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Clean Water America Alliance announced winners of the 2012 U.S. Water Prize for watershed-based approaches toward water sustainability. “These six water champions are showing America how to innovate, integrate, and educate for water sustainability and economic success,” explained Alliance President Ben Grumbles. U.S. Water Prize winners by alphabetical order are PepsiCo Frito-Lay, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, Philadelphia Water Department, Project WET Foundation, Salmon Falls Watershed Collaborative, and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.
PepsiCo Frito-Lay is deserving of the U.S. Water Prize because of its corporate-wide stewardship on water and energy conservation. Its Casa Grande, Ariz., snack facility is leading the way in energy efficiency and process-water reuse. Water is an essential ingredient to the food and beverage industry and both Frito-Lay and PepsiCo are demonstrating how to manage water efficiently and save dollars along the way.
The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District is being recognized for its pioneering watershed-based permitting (WBP) pilot program that many of its other cutting-edge approaches fall within. The pilot WBP extends to the natural boundaries of Menomonee and Kinnickinnic Rivers’ watersheds rather than being confined to political jurisdictions or industries. This has the potential to be more effective and efficient than traditional strategies in reducing water pollution within a watershed.
The Philadelphia Water Department is receiving the U.S. Water Prize for “Green City, Clean Waters.” This far-reaching program is uniting the city with its water environment, creating a green legacy for future generations and finding a balance among ecology, economics, and equity.
The U.S. Water Prize goes to Project WET Foundation for its success in building an extensive, grass-roots network of school and community educators. The program reaches thousands of formal and non-formal educators and millions of children annually with water-science education locally and globally.
The selection of the Salmon Falls Watershed Collaborative for the U.S. Water Prize highlights the importance of inter-jurisdictional partnerships to protect and sustain drinking water supplies. This interstate collaborative between Maine and New Hampshire unites local, state, and federal partners to protect forests and reduce stormwater pollution from anticipated development.
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) merits the U.S. Water Prize because of its holistic approach to energy, water, and urban watershed management. Its strategy for stormwater includes innovative regulation, collaboration with other enterprises, and financial assistance and outreach campaigns to increase community awareness and participation to enhance the function of the city’s watersheds.
U.S. Water Prize winners will be honored in a special ceremony on Monday, April 23, 2012, at the Washington Marriott Hotel in Washington, D.C. National water and environmental leaders will attend the celebration. Each recipient will receive a handcrafted, water-inspired, ceramic art work commissioned from internationally acclaimed potter Miranda Thomas.
The Clean Water America Alliance created and administers the U.S. Water Prize to recognize achievement and inspire action for water sustainability. Brown and Caldwell, Veolia North America, CH2M HILL, MWH, Pirnie/ARCADIS, CDM Smith, and HDR are among the sponsors of the 2012 U.S. Water Prize. For more information, visit www.CWAA.us.