Exemplary Source Water Protection Award

Exemplary Source Water Protection Award

The next application period will open in Fall 2023. More information will be available by Summer 2023. 

2023 Recipients

North Texas Municipal Water District, Texas Section

None awarded for 2023

Winterset Municipal Water Works, Iowa Section

Award Criteria

Award title: Exemplary Source Water Protection Award

Purpose of the award: To recognize organizations in North America who have developed and are implementing exemplary source water protection programs.

The award: The AWWA Exemplary Source Water Protection Program Award plaque.

Frequency of the award: Yearly, up to three awards, with the intent to distribute to organizations representing different water system size classifications based on the population served.

Eligibility: Any organization or drinking water system that performs source water protection for drinking water supplies in North America is eligible to apply for the award. The drinking water supply sources must be associated with a water system or authority that is regulated by a federal/state/province/tribe government agency. The award applies to systems using surface water and/or groundwater as their source.

Selection criteria for the award: The award will be based largely on the criteria set forth in the AWWA Standard for Source Water Protection (ANSI/AWWA G300-14).

The Standard states that “Source water protection is a highly site-specific process that reflects the inherent diversity of natural waters and the areas from which they are derived. Consequently, successful source water protection programs may vary widely in their details; but it is a premise of this standard that successful programs share several fundamental elements. These elements form the basis of the source water protection standard. Within this generalized framework, individual utilities may establish and maintain source water protection programs that account for their unique local conditions, incorporate the interests of local stakeholders, and reflect sustainable long-term commitments to the process by all parties.”

Specifically, the source water protection program should include each of the following six (6) components outlined below and described in more detail in the Standard: (1) a source water protection program vision; (2) source water characterization; (3) source water protection goals; (4) source water protection action plan; (5) implementation of the action plan; and (6) periodic evaluation and revision of the entire program. Although each of the six primary elements may differ greatly in their complexity or effort, they are each vital to the success of the program. Accordingly, basic success in each area should be demonstrated in order for a utility to obtain recognition in the area of source water protection.

In addition to how well a source water protection program satisfies each of the six (6) program components outlined above for the AWWA Standard, the award will also be based on the following three criteria: (1) the effectiveness of the program; (2) the innovativeness of the program approach; and (3) the difficulties overcome by the organization in satisfying the eligibility criteria.

In determining award the award winner(s), consideration may be given to the resources available to the organization for the development and implementation of a source water protection program when judging the programs of organizations of difference sizes (within a specific size category).

Additional guidance is available in the Requirements section of the AWWA Standard, as well as on the entry form for the Award. Applicants are strongly encouraged to review the specific criteria for each of the six (6) program components provided in the AWWA Standard, as those are part of the Exemplary Source Water Protection award criteria. The G300 Standard is available from the AWWA Store.

Application requirements: Submission of the completed AWWA entry form and application report by any eligible organization to awards@awwa.org. Application reports are subject to a 20-page limit.

Application deadline: The next application period will open in Fall 2023. More information will be available by Summer 2023. Applications will be kept active and considered for three years after submission. If desired, applicants may provide updates to their application by the deadline for the second and third years of consideration.

AWWA award committee membership: The Award Committee will be administered by the AWWA Source Water Protection Committee, and will be comprised of members of the Source Water Protection Committee as well as other Committees of the AWWA Water Resource Sustainability Division as appropriate. Employees of or consultants to any of the organizations participating in the subject Source Water Protection Program or the nominating organization may not serve on the Award Committee. The Award Committee will make nominations to be approved by the AWWA Water Resource Sustainability Division.

Presentation of the award: The award will be presented at the AWWA Annual Conference and Exposition.

Section level awards: Some AWWA sections may also offer an Exemplary Source Water Protection Award. Contact your section for more information.