U.S. Water Prize Ceremony Honors Leaders in Water Sustainability

In a ceremony attended by 200 water leaders, the Clean Water America Alliance presented the 2011 U.S. Water Prize today to the City of Los Angeles, Milwaukee Water Council, National Great Rivers Research & Education Center, New York City Department of Environmental Protection, and the Pacific Institute.

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In a ceremony attended by 200 water leaders, the Clean Water America Alliance presented the 2011 U.S. Water Prize today to the City of Los Angeles, Milwaukee Water Council, National Great Rivers Research & Education Center, New York City Department of Environmental Protection, and the Pacific Institute.

“Today, our water challenges highlight concerns throughout our society – growing populations and urbanization; new chemicals in our products, environment and bodies, new sources of pollution; and adaptation to climate change,” said Assistant Administrator for Water Bob Perciasepe of U.S. EPA. “To confront these growing challenges, we need innovative strategies and cutting-edge technologies like those being used, developed and promoted by this year’s United States Water Prize winners.”

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Ben Grumbles, President of the Clean Water America Alliance, presents the US Water Prize to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles.

The city of Los Angeles was honored for its Water Integrated Resources Plan (IRP), which integrates supply, conservation, recycling and runoff management with wastewater facilities planning through a regional watershed approach, enlisting the public in the planning and design development process.

Departing from traditional single-purpose planning efforts, the IRP resulted in greater efficiency in water resource management and multiple citywide benefits, including energy and cost savings, reduced dependence on imported water, reusing stormwater and conserving drinking water.

The Milwaukee Water Council was honored for its work to develop a the region into a World Water Hub by harnessing the power of an existing industry cluster (more than 130 water-related companies), linking a rapidly expanding academic research community and convening some of the nation’s brightest and most energetic professionals to focus on advancing water technology.

The National Great Rivers Research & Education Center (NGRREC) is the result of a unique partnership formed by Lewis and Clark Community College, the University of Illinois and the Illinois Natural History Survey. The center was honored for its mission to advance the nation’s understanding of great rivers, their floodplains and watersheds for the purpose of sustaining the plant, animal and human communities that depend upon them.

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) was honored for its work to encourage sustainability. In early 2010, DEP appointed a Deputy Commissioner for Sustainability to implement PlaNYC, and make sustainability a core consideration for the agency. DEP has also assumed much of the energy planning for New York City.

The Pacific Institute in Oakland, CA, was honored for its work in the field of water and sustainability. Over 24 years, the Institute has advanced the soft path to water, including conservation and efficiency solutions to water shortages; helped define and championed the human right to water; and contributed to official water policy changes aimed at sustainability.

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