US Water Prize for Outstanding Cross-Sector Partnership: KC Water Green Stewards Program

US Water Alliance | August 24, 2021

KC Water’s Green Stewards Program emerged out of their Smart Sewer Program, which is a 25-year plan to reduce and prevent sewer overflows in Kansas City, MO. It is the first Consent Decree in the nation to include green infrastructure as a means of capturing stormwater before it enters the sewer. The Green Stewards Program is a workforce development initiative that supports the maintenance and monitoring of green infrastructure across the city.  | More >

US Water Prize for Outstanding Artist: Friends of Gadsden Creek

US Water Alliance | August 24, 2021

Friends of Gadsden Creek mobilized as a grassroots, community-led campaign dedicated to opposing the destruction of Gadsden Creek—the last remaining salt marsh ecosystem on the peninsula of Charleston, South Carolina. Central to the campaign’s work is educating others about the history of Gadsden Creek and of the community that lives alongside it.   | More >

US Water Prize for Outstanding Rising One Water Leader: Dr. Lindsay Birt

US Water Alliance | August 24, 2021

Lindsay Birt, PhD and client solutions manager at Xylem, exemplifies what it means to be a leader in One Water. Through her technical expertise in agricultural and biological engineering, Dr. Birt fosters innovations in agricultural water, surface water, wastewater, and stormwater management. With a “watershed state of mind,” Lindsay emphasizes engagement and partnerships with stakeholders across the water sector to achieve comprehensive solutions to pressing water issues. Additionally, Lindsay is a staunch advocate for the implementation of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) practices and initiatives throughout the water world.  | More >

US Water Prize for Outstanding Journalism: Ian James and Colleagues, The Arizona Republic

US Water Alliance | August 24, 2021

Journalist Ian James, along with colleagues Rob O’Dell, Mark Henle, David Wallace, Nick Oza, and editor Shaun McKinnon at The Arizona Republic, have devoted extensive work to spotlighting pressing water challenges in the state of Arizona. The high-volume portfolio James continues to build upon includes detailed stories on groundwater depletion, the overall lack of water regulation in large portions of Arizona, and promising water management solutions, which have spurred water-related policy proposals in Arizona’s state legislature. His reporting has also examined the widespread problems of inadequate water access in Navajo and Hopi communities, which are compounded by the impacts of climate change and the lasting effects of mining and water sources tainted with hazardous contaminants.  | More >

Bipartisan Infrastructure Package Achieves Historic Investments, But More Is Needed

Scott Berry, Director of Policy and Government Affairs, US Water Alliance | August 10, 2021

After months of back-and-forth negotiations, and some intense work in the last few weeks, the bipartisan infrastructure package, known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), was passed by the Senate on August 10 by a solidly bipartisan vote of 69-30. The 2,702 page bill includes roughly $555 billion in spending for roads, bridges, rail, water, electric grid, and broadband infrastructure. As previously reported, the foundation for the water section of the bill was taken from the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act (S. 914), which overwhelmingly passed the Senate back in April. This Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill represents a tremendous and historic investment in the nation’s infrastructure. | More >

Stepping up on Climate Action with the Imagination Challenge

US Water Alliance Board Members; Al Cho of Xylem and Cindy Wallis-Lage of Black and Veatch | August 4, 2021

Did you know that our water systems contribute significantly to climate change? Recent studies estimate that water-related activities may account for upwards of 10% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. And water utilities can be the biggest user of electricity in a community. | More >

Meet Mami Hara, Incoming CEO of the US Water Alliance

US Water Alliance | July 28, 2021

Mami Hara currently serves as general manager and CEO of Seattle Public Utilities. The US Water Alliance announced on July 29 that she has been named the next CEO and will start on October 15, 2021. | More >

Washington DC Update—July 2021

Scott Berry, Director of Policy and Government Affairs, US Water Alliance | July 27, 2021

Infrastructure remains front and center in the national dialogue as the group of senators working on the bipartisan infrastructure framework have spent much of this month on negotiations. The bipartisan group reached an agreement on $550 billion in new spending, and the Senate voted to begin the multi-step process of debating the bill. Senate voted 67-32, with 17 Republicans joining all 50 Democrats voting in favor of moving forward. Final text of the bill has not yet been released, but $55 billion of the bill’s spending will be directed to water infrastructure. While this signals a historic investment in water, it is less than half of what is called for in President Biden’s American Jobs Plan.  | More >

How Hacking can help Solve Wastewater Sanitation Issues

Morgan Brown | July 12, 2021

In the US, there has been recent media attention surrounding lack of access to safe drinking water in vulnerable communities. A water issue that has not received as much attention is inadequate wastewater treatment. | More >

Recovering Stronger: State Innovations—South Region: Empowering Communities

Joya Banerjee and Sarah Huckins | July 6, 2021

The South is a region with considerable leadership in addressing the compounding challenges of climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic. Southern communities are facing multiple climate disasters—from drought and extreme cold weather to algal blooms along the coast—resulting in communities without access to drinking water and exacerbating challenges for those that lack access to wastewater infrastructure. Participants in the South Listening Session lifted up the need to invest in the South to address these challenges, and the need to amplify frontline community voices in shaping solutions, policies, and practices.  | More >