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News Release

Martha Lou Wheatley-Billeter, MPA
Public Works Information and Outreach Manager
Office: 509-477-7195

Environmental Services Internationally Recognized for Future-Focused Initiatives

SPOKANE COUNTY, July 25, 2018 – The Environmental Services Department, which operates the Spokane County Regional Water Reclamation Facility and Water Resource Center, is among thirty-two water utilities to be internationally recognized for their leadership in community engagement, watershed stewardship, and recovery of resources.
The Utility of the Future Today recognition program celebrates the achievements of forward-thinking, innovative water utilities that are providing resilient, value-added service to communities.

Upon receiving news of the award for “Partnering and Engagement,” Environmental Services Director Kevin Cooke said, “I am extremely proud of the exceptional work that is being done at the Spokane County Regional Water Reclamation Facility and Water Resource Center.  Our staff enthusiastically collaborates with colleagues and volunteers from other agencies, organizations, and schools.  These partnerships allow us to improve the collective understanding of our rivers and aquifers, and encourage public support for activities that protect these irreplaceable resources.”

Utility of the Future Today

The Utility of the Future framework provides a model for utilities of all sizes to achieve more efficient operations, enhanced productivity, and long-term sustainability. The recognition program component, Utility of the Future Today, was launched in 2016 by four water sector organizations—the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), the Water Environment Federation (WEF), the Water Research Foundation (WRF) and WateReuse, with input from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The Utility of the Future concept is being promoted as water systems around the world are transforming operations through innovation and technology. The 32 utilities recognized this year are recovering resources from wastewater, engaging in their community, forming unique partnerships, and building an internal culture of innovation.

“The Utility of the Future Today honorees exemplify the kind of forward-thinking leadership that strengthens the entire water sector," said WEF Executive Director Eileen O'Neill.  “We are thrilled to celebrate and recognize these utilities that not only embrace but expand water sector innovation.”

Honorees will be recognized during an awards ceremony at WEFTEC 2018, this October in New Orleans. To learn more, visit https://www.wef.org/utility-of-the-future or contact UtilityRecognition@wef.org.  

About WEF
The Water Environment Federation is a not-for-profit technical and educational organization of 34,000 individual members and 75 affiliated Member Associations representing water quality professionals around the world. Since 1928, WEF and its members have protected public health and the environment. As a global water sector leader, our mission is to connect water professionals, enrich the expertise of water professionals, increase the awareness of the impact and value of water, and provide a platform for water sector innovation. To learn more, visit www.wef.org.

For nearly 50 years, the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) has been the nation’s recognized leader in legislative, regulatory and legal advocacy on the full spectrum of clean water issues. NACWA represents public wastewater and stormwater agencies of all sizes nationwide. Our unique and growing network strengthens the advocacy voice for all member utilities, and ensures they have the tools necessary to provide affordable and sustainable clean water for all.  Our vision is to represent every utility as a NACWA member, helping to build a strong and sustainable clean water future. For more information, visit us at www.nacwa.org.

About WRF
The Water Research Foundation is a 501c3 organization officially formed in January 2018 after the merger of the Water Environment & Reuse Foundation and Water Research Foundation. The merged Foundation is the leading water research organization, funding research, pilot projects, and technology demonstrations that maximize the value of all water, including wastewater, stormwater, drinking water, and recycled water. Learn more at www.werf.org or www.waterrf.org.

About WateReuse
WateReuse is an international thought-leader on alternative water supply development and the global go-to source for applied research, education, and advocacy on water reuse. Representing a coalition that includes utilities, government agencies, and industry; WateReuse works to educate policymakers and the public on the science, economic value, and environmental benefits of treating water to safely use it for designated purposes, such as irrigation, manufacturing, and drinking. To learn more, visit www.watereuse.org.
 “Environmental Services: Keeping your Water Clean and the Environment Green!”

About Spokane County
Spokane County government serves more than 500,000 citizens and 13 municipal jurisdictions, making it the fourth largest county in the State of Washington.  For more information, visit www.spokanecounty.org, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

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