The purpose of the Water Heroes program is to recognize individuals or municipalities who performed duties above and beyond the usual call of duty during an emergency situation to continue to protect the public and the environment. These duties shall elevate the status of the water sector industry.

The award was first given in 2012 to teams of operators from Louisiana for their service after Hurricane Katrina. In 2013, the award was given to East Coast water professionals for their service during Hurricane Sandy and in 2014 the award was given to three municipalities for their response to the Colorado Front Range flooding events.


  1. Individual
  2. Utility, District, Industry, Public Agency and Private Organization


  1. Open to members in good standing of the Water Environment
  2. Nominations must demonstrate:
         a. A true emergency situation, not a situation created by lack of proactive operations and management of a facility,
         b. Actions taken above and beyond the normal call of duty or job responsibility,
         c. Actions taken to continue to protect the public and the environment,
         d. Actions taken that elevated the status of the water sector industry.

WEF Membership Requirements for Application

If the nominee for this award is an Individual, we require them to be a current (not expired) WEF Member.

If the nominee for this award is a Municipality/Utility, then the nominee does not need to be a WEF member.

Regardless of the Nominee, the Nominator must be a current (not expired) WEF member in order for the nominee to be considered for this award.

*If the nomination is being submitted by a Member Association (MA) or Community/Committee, please indicate the MA name or Community/Committee name within the application in lieu of a WEF Member ID #.

If needed, contact WEF’s Customer Service Center for WEF Member ID information: | 1-800-666-0206 | 703-684-2400 | International Members/Customers: 1-571-830-1545

Period of Eligibility:
The event for which a nomination is made must have occurred within a two (2) year period of the nomination/application deadline.  The Water Heroes recognition, if awarded, will be presented at the WEFTEC Awards and Recognition Ceremony.  Refer to the link below for upcoming WEFTEC schedule:


  • Online Nomination Form
  • A one (1) page biography of the individual nominee(s) of a one (1) page description of the nominee; biographical information should include employment history and job responsibilities.
  • Specific reasons for nomination (two (2) page maximum) to include a brief summary of normal facility operation, a description of the event that created the emergency situation and the actions taken by the nominee(s) to address the situation.
  • Any other supporting material required under criteria or that you feel would be helpful in the selection process (two (2) page maximum)

Nominations Accepted From:

WEF Member Associations
WEF Members
WEF Committees

Nominations Deadline:

Application will be available annually on January 15 and close annually on March 31 at 11:59PM (Eastern).




Questions or Comments?

Contact: Rebecca Culhane
Manager, Awards and Scholarships
Phone: 1 + (703-684-2400) x7070