Public Communications Achievement Award

Public Communications Achievement Award

Epcor Glass of the Sask

2024 Recipient

EPCOR Utilities, Inc.



Award Criteria

Purpose: To recognize individual and utility AWWA members for fostering and supporting the development of public outreach programs and for integrating public affairs strategies into utility planning and management.

Award recipients will work with AWWA on publicity and sharing details of the accomplishment that may include authoring an article, submitting an abstract for consideration at a conference, or assisting with content for AWWA's digital communications.

Number and frequency: Both individual and utility awards are divided into three categories:

  1. Those serving fewer than 5,000 service connections
  2. Those serving between 5,000 and 25,000 service connections
  3. Those serving more than 25,000 service connections

A maximum of one award per year will be given in each of the six categories; however, awards will be based solely upon merit and may not necessarily be issued in all categories. The program for which the individual/organization is nominated may be either ongoing or a large, focused initiative completed within the 24-month period prior to the application date, demonstrating a strong, broad-based commitment to public outreach and communications.

Eligibility for individual award: This award is intended to recognize members who foster and support public outreach as an integral part of their utility’s management strategy. Nominees must meet the following criteria:

  1. Be an AWWA member
  2. Demonstrate a commitment to strategic public affairs and public outreach
  3. Have worked in the water profession for a minimum of three years and been employed by the member utility represented in the program or body of work within 12 months prior to the application date
  4. Been nominated by a member of their utility, another organization, or an AWWA section
  5. Their service and contributions cited in the nomination must be related to operational goals and demonstrate outstanding efforts in terms of scope, creativity, excellence, impact, and/or success in communicating water issues

Eligibility for utility award: Utility applicants will be judged on their ability to demonstrate ongoing commitment to public outreach, public communications, the linkage between communications efforts and the organization's operational goals, establishment of communication objectives, thoroughness of planning, execution of activities and documentation of results. Nominees must meet the following criteria:

  1. Must be an AWWA member utility
  2. Nominee's work must exemplify professional excellence, demonstrate the utility's long-term commitment to public outreach and communications, and provide evidence of efforts to integrate public affairs as a core element of utility planning and management
  3. Demonstrate outstanding service and contributions in terms of scope, creativity, excellence, impact and/or success in communicating water issues
  4. Nomination of a short-term (crisis management plan) program must also address the development and implementation of a sustained, long-term outreach program
  5. Include a documented positive impact on operational objectives, improved organizational performance, increased support or mitigation of issues within the community, and/or industry leadership

Judging criteria: Applications will be evaluated on the following criteria by a panel of judges from the AWWA Public Affairs Council. Programs/individuals that do not qualify for the award based on scores may qualify for a Certificate of Merit at the judges' discretion.

  1. Documented achievements in public affairs, including projects or programs that promote awareness and understanding of water issues
  2. Exceptional efforts that demonstrate the nominee's skills and commitment to overcome challenges and/or fully integrate communications and public affairs as a core element of management strategies
  3. Demonstrated commitment to embracing public affairs in day-to-day management and operations, including skills transfer and mentoring others

Other factors that may be considered include:

  1. Documentation of efforts to assess best practices for outreach, plan outreach activities, and evaluate program effectiveness
  2. Volunteer service and leadership (individual or organizational) to AWWA or an AWWA section

Nomination procedure: Applications can be emailed to AWWA’s Communications Department at or sent to:
American Water Works Association
Attn: Communications Department
6666 W. Quincy Ave.
Denver, CO 80235

Please include:

  1. Completed nomination form, specifying the category for which the application is being submitted (see top of this page to download the form)
  2. An overview that includes relevant operational goals, communication objectives, strategy, target audience(s), activities, results, and methods used to measure effectiveness (up to five pages)
  3. Samples that support the achievements, such as earned media, digital tools (website, social media, videos, animations, or illustrations), brochures or newsletters, or other relevant materials (For videos, please include a link to a website or YouTube channel. Entry form and samples may be submitted electronically; printed samples should not be submitted in packages larger than 12" x 12" x 12".)
  4. A brief utility description, including history and scope of services provided, or in the case of individual nominees, a biography with attached photograph
  5. If submitting printed materials, include four copies of the above nomination form and sample materials. Only one copy is necessary if submitting electronically.

Nomination deadline: Nominations are due to AWWA by November 1 to receive full consideration.

Presentation of the award: The award will be presented during the American Water Works Association’s Annual Conference and Exposition.


Past Recipients

Metro Vancouver

Irvine Ranch Water District

Halifax Water, Nova Scotia, Canada
The Metropolitan District, Hartford, Conn.

San Diego Water Authority, California
San Jose Water Co., California
Vallecitos Water District, San Marcos, California

Sweetwater Authority, Chula Vista, California