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Operations & Environmental Performance Award
Eligibility: Outstanding project, system or method relating to wastewater treatment, wastewater conveyance, stormwater management, and/or environmental enhancement.

Criteria: Innovative and effective project, system or method relating to environmental compliance or environmental restoration developed and successfully implemented by a Member Agency in a cost-effective manner while achieving environmental compliance objectives.

Public Information and Education Awards (one nomination per Member Agency)
Video/Printed Publication/Educational Program
Eligibility: Outstanding and innovative video, printed publication, and/or educational program related to pollution prevention or control.

Criteria: Program, publication or video must have been produced by the Member Agency staff or by an outside vendor at the express direction of the agency. Program, publication or video must encompass some aspect of the agency’s operations, benefit the public educationally and have been produced for general use or distribution. Annual Reports are not accepted in this category.

Eligibility: Outstanding Member Agency website, social media presence or campaign, or downloadable, web-based program that relates to wastewater treatment, wastewater conveyance, or pollution prevention and control.

Criteria: Website, social media presence or campaign, or downloadable, web-based program content must have been developed and produced by agency staff or by an outside vendor at the express direction of the agency. Nominations will be judged based upon 1) the timeliness of the content; 2) the quality of graphic design elements; 3) organization and/or searchability; 4) innovation and originality; and, 5) ease of use.

Public Service Award
Eligibility: Significant contribution during the past year in local, state, or national public service related to public utility operation or environmental protection.

Criteria: Involvement must be by Member Agency staff or commissioners (directors, chairs). Public Service shall not be required by regulation or law.

Research & Technology Award
Eligibility: Development of a technological innovation related to wastewater treatment, wastewater conveyance, stormwater management or biosolids/sludge use and disposal.

Criteria: Research project or technological innovation must directly relate to the processes of collection, treatment or reuse of wastewater, stormwater, or use or disposal of biosolids/sludge.  Project must have been conducted in-house, or by consultant under direction of the Member Agency.  Project results must have practical application.

Watershed Collaboration Award
Eligibility:  Outstanding watershed-based collaborative management initiative or program focused on cost-effective solutions to environmental challenges.

Criteria: Documented collaborative initiative or program, inclusive of wastewater and/or stormwater management and stakeholder involvement and endorsed by the approval of the governing bodies of the participating entities. Nominations will be judged on the maturity and complexity of the collaborative initiative with or without fully achieving the stated environmental goals.

Workforce Development Award
Eligibility: Outstanding Member Agency workforce development project or program. 

Criteria: Outstanding project or program must embody effective, sustainable solutions that address the need for a qualified, diverse, and knowledgeable utility workforce. Projects or programs should be able to demonstrate results in at least one of the following areas: 1) expanding opportunities for underserved populations; 2) “growing” specialized expertise from within the utility or through development of new unskilled talent; 3) collaborating with other utilities and/or educational institutions. 

Water Resources Utility of the Future Award
The Awards Committee shall accept and consider Water Resources Utility of the Future Award nominations in two categories.  Awards shall be considered for Member Agencies with service areas populations greater than 250,000; and separately for Member Agencies with service area populations less than 250,000.  Association Member Agencies receiving NACWA’s Water Resources Utility of the Future Award are ineligible to reapply for the five years following their receipt of the award.

Eligibility: Agency, district, utility, or authority that best exemplifies the qualities, characteristics, and practices of the Water Resources Utility of the Future.

Criteria: Demonstrated bold, transformational community leadership in managing valuable resources, partnering in local economic development, and engaging stakeholders in their watershed resulting in environmental, economic, and social benefits.  Examples of such leadership are exemplified by activities or initiatives that reclaim and reuse water; extract and identify commercial uses for nutrients and other constituents; capture waste heat and latent energy in biosolids and liquid streams; generate renewable energy using land and other horizontal assets; and, use green infrastructure not only to manage stormwater, but also to improve urban quality of life.