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U.S. Water Prizes Awarded

>On April 13, 2015, at the National Geographic Society Headquarters in Washington D.C., some 300 water leaders from across the nation (including ASDWA representatives) honored the 2015 U.S. Water Prize winners: the City of San Diego Public Utilities Department, California; Electric Power Research Institute, Palo Alto, California; and The Coca-Cola Company, Atlanta, Georgia. The keynote address was delivered by Kathryn D. Sullivan, Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator.
The U.S. Water Prize was initiated five years ago by the U.S. Water Alliance to elevate those organizations with strategies that promote the value of water and the power of innovating and integrating for “one water” sustainability.  A thumbnail sketch of the accomplishments of each awardee is as follows:

  • City of San Diego Public Utilities Department’s Water Purification Demonstration Project was recognized as a trailblazer for reservoir augmentation. Halla Razak, Director of the Public Utilities Department explained that, “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. 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 (EPRI) 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,” explained Bob Perciasepe, former EPA Deputy Administrator 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.”
  • The Coca-Cola Company has replenished an amount of water equivalent to more than 70 percent 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 percent of the water we use by 2020,” explained Sandy Douglas, President of Coca-Cola North America.