Utility of the Future Today Recognition Program
The Utility of the Future Today (UotFT) Recognition Program honors forward-thinking, innovative water utilities that are providing resilient value-added service to communities, particularly in community engagement, watershed stewardship, and recovery of resources such as water, energy, and nutrients.
The UotFT Recognition Program seeks to form and motivate a community of like-minded water utilities engaged in advancing resource efficiency and recovery, developing proactive relationships with stakeholders, and establishing resilient, sustainable, and livable communities. The Recognition Program, through the aggregation and sharing of utility advancements and experiences, enables participants across a broad continuum of capacities and capabilities to learn from each other and continually grow and sustain their efforts to be, and continually advance the concept of, the Utility of the Future.
The UotFT program focuses on activity areas which are the foundational building blocks of successful utilities:
- recovery and new uses of a full range of resources;
- engagement as a leader in the full water cycle and broader social, economic, and environmental sustainability of the community;
- transformation of the internal utility culture in support of these innovations; and
- engagement in the community and formation of partnerships necessary for success when operating outside of the traditional span of control of the utility.
The Utility of the Future Today Recognition Program is a joint initiative led by the Water Environment Federation (WEF), the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), the Water Research Foundation (WRF) and the WateReuse Association, and is supported by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Office of Wastewater Management, and the Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy.
2020 was the program’s fifth year and saw the greatest number of applicants and honorees. As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, WEF and its partner organizations are not able to acknowledge the sixty-five 2020 honorees in person at WEFTEC. Instead, an Awards Ceremony video has been created and is available by clicking the link below. Please view the ceremony with friends, family, and colleagues, and cheer on this year’s honorees.
Looking ahead to UotFT 2021!
Public and private water sector utilities of all sizes that can demonstrate achievement of the application requirements are encouraged to apply. Applicants must have had no major violations of their National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit requirements for the previous year from the date of application.
The application process for the UotFT 2021 will start in January 2021. A link to the online application will be made available here on this webpage and completed applications will be submitted via the Water Environment Federation’s Open Water Platform (a link will be provided). Applications will be reviewed by a panel of judges comprised of peer utility general managers and executives. In the meantime, the compendium of honoree applications provided below is a valuable resource regarding successful applications.
Honorees will be recognized as part of WEFTEC 2021, either in person or as part of a virtual event, and will receive a Certificate of Recognition, a UotFT Today banner, and/or a 2021 flag. In addition, honorees will be recognized in WEF’s Environment & Technology magazine, as well as in press releases from WEF and the partner organizations. Applicants are not required to attend WEFTEC to receive recognition.
For more information, review the Frequently Asked Questions page or contact [email protected].