Ceremony Will Honor 2015 U.S. Water Prize Winners

April 10, 2015
More than 300 water leaders from across the country will attend the ceremony and reception

On April 13, 2015 at the National Geographic Society Headquarters in Washington D.C., some 300 water leaders from across the nation will honor the 2015 U.S. Water Prize winners: the City of San Diego Public Utilities Department, Calif.; Electric Power Research Institute, Palo Alto, Calif.; and the Coca-Cola Co., Atlanta. The keynote address will be by the Honorable Kathryn D. Sullivan, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA administrator. 

“This year’s awardees highlight the commitment and innovation we see throughout America’s water and business sectors,” said Tracy Mehan, interim president of the U.S. Water Alliance (USWA). “The alliance board and staff offer their heartfelt congratulations to them all.”

The U.S. Water Prize was initiated five years ago by the USWA to elevate those organizations with strategies that promote the value of water and the power of innovating and integrating for one water sustainability. 

“These winners offer approaches that will build resiliency in the face of challenges like the California drought and other climate change impacts,” said Dick Champion, Chairman of the USWA board of directors.

City of San Diego Public Utilities Department’s Water Purification Demonstration Project is recognized as a trailblazer for reservoir augmentation.

“Pure Water San Diego will provide one-third of the city of San Diego’s water supply upon completion in 2035. Water supply independence is an ever-important goal because of the increased pressure on imported water supplies due to recurring droughts, rising population, increasing costs and climate change,” said Halla Razak, director of the Public Utilities Department. “The city is committed to controlling more of its own destiny by implementing potable reuse.” The project findings are helping develop standards for potable reuse across the country.

The Electric Power Research Institute and a collaboration of power companies, farmers, state and federal agencies, and environmental interests have established the world’s only interstate water quality trading project.

“[The] project is an impressive example of how we can work together to realize solutions to our shared challenges,” said Bob Perciasepe, former deputy administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and current president of the  Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. “[It] has overcome challenges that have ended similar efforts and companies now have an opportunity to receive turn-key verified credits to meet their stewardship goals, address compliance needs, support farms, and protect ecosystems. I congratulate Jessica Fox and her team for this impressive project.”

The Coca-Cola Co. has replenished an amount of water equivalent to more than 70% of its total beverage volume in North America, with an ultimate goal of being water neutral. Through collaborative partnerships, water efficiency in manufacturing operations and sharing best practices, the company is a corporate leader in advancing water sustainability.

“Water is the main ingredient in our beverages. It’s essential to our business and vitally important to the communities we serve. We strive to be a steward of this precious resource by using it more efficiently and building community water projects—all with the goal of replenishing 100% of the water we use by 2020,” said Sandy Douglas, President of Coca-Cola North America. “We humbly thank the partners who are helping us achieve this goal and the U.S. Water Alliance for acknowledging our efforts.”

This year’s U.S. Water Prize Ceremony is sponsored by CH2M HILL, Intel Corp. and MWH Global. 

Nominations were reviewed by an independent, volunteer panel of judges in the fields of water and environmental policy.

Source: U.S. Water Alliance