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The Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA) recognized the exceptional operation and performance of the Regional Water Authority (RWA) by presenting the company with its 2020 Sustainable Water Utility Management Award. The RWA was one of 13 public drinking water systems that received AMWA’s top utility management awards on October 13 at the organization’s 2020 Executive Management Conference.
AMWA management awards recognize the exceptional performance of public drinking water utilities where management vision and employee commitment come together to create sustainable utilities producing ample supplies of clean, reliable drinking water. The Sustainable Water Utility Management Award spotlights efforts of water utilities implementing long-term and innovative economic, environmental and social endeavors.
“The RWA was formed with a mission to provide high-quality water while preserving land and promoting sustainability,” said Larry Bingaman, President and CEO of the RWA. “In pursuit of that mission, we have reduced our emissions, increased our use of green energy and worked alongside our partners and customers in Greater New Haven to promote a healthy environment. As a 21st-century environmental services company, we continually seek new and innovative ways to provide great service to our customers while also protecting the environment of our region and the precious natural resources with which we are trusted. Thank you to AMWA for honoring the RWA with this award.”
“The RWA acts as stewards to more than 27,000 acres of land and the four reservoir systems we manage,” said Ted Norris, Vice President of Asset Management for the RWA. “Sustainably managing these environmental assets is a core aspect of the work done by the RWA team. Healthy forests and watershed lands act as natural filters for our reservoirs. Reducing our carbon footprint by using green energy helps combat climate change, the effects of which can be seen in the drought currently impacting Connecticut. Sustainable management is critical to the RWA’s ability to provide high-quality, affordable water to our customers for generations to come.”
The RWA received AMWA’s 2020 Sustainable Water Utility Management Award in recognition of the utility’s focus on the long-term economic viability of its company, resources and region. Specifically, AMWA applauded the RWA’s work to preserve and protect the watersheds and other undeveloped land. The RWA owns and manages approximately 27,000 acres of land, including 902 acres newly protected since 2007. The RWA protects these lands from development and manages them with sustainable, environmentally friendly methods of encouraging healthy forest growth and water quality, while removing invasive species.
AMWA also highlighted the RWA’s use of renewable energy, such as solar power, to reduce the company’s carbon footprint. The RWA has worked to reduce its emissions by adopting innovative metering technology that allows for remote readings, resulting in fewer vehicles on the road. These strategies are part of the RWA’s responsible financial management plans, also recognized by AMWA, which help to keep the RWA’s high-quality tap water affordable at less than a penny per gallon.
Finally, in its decision to honor the RWA with a 2020 Sustainable Utility Management Award, AMWA commended the company’s work in the communities it serves. AMWA pointed to the RWA’s recreation program, which offers fishing, hiking and other activities at nine properties, and the RWA’s education program, which provides free, hands-on programs to students in local schools. The education program, which is celebrating 30 years of service, has provided enriching educational lessons to more than 352,000 students since its inception. This school year, the RWA’s education program has already reached more than 300 students using a hybrid of in-person and virtual programming.
AMWA is an organization of the largest publicly owned drinking water suppliers in the United States. It awarded the 2020 Sustainable Water Utility Management Award to nine utilities. Three utilities won AMWA’s 2020 Platinum Award for Utility Excellence and one utility won the 2020 Gold Award for Exceptional Utility Performance. The RWA is a previous recipient of AMWA’s Platinum Award for Utility Excellence.
“In an unprecedented year for this nation, these systems are at the forefront of providing innovative solutions to the multiple challenges a global pandemic, extreme weather events, and infrastructure gaps are creating,” said AMWA President Steve Schneider, General Manager of Saint Paul Regional Water Services. “By supplying their communities with clean, safe, and affordable drinking water, these water utilities are helping to safeguard the nation’s health.”