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Program Statement of Purpose

The Utility of the Future Today Recognition Program seeks to reach deeply into the water sector to form and motivate a community of like-minded water utilities engaged in advancing resource efficiency and recovery, developing proactive relationships with stakeholders, and establishing resilient, sustainable, and livable communities. The Recognition Program, through the aggregation and sharing of utility advancements and experiences, will enable participants across a broad continuum of capacities and capabilities to learn from each other and continually grow and sustain their efforts to be, and continually advance the concept of, the Utility of the Future.

The Recognition Program seeks to encourage utilities to embed the principles of the Utility of the Future within their organization, beginning with Organizational Culture. Organizational Culture is the foundation by which all other Utility of the Future Activity Areas are sustainably supported.

Utilities receiving recognition through this program are expected to share their practices and experiences to create a community of practice around the Utility of the Future Today, and to enable other utilities to continually learn from each other and evolve as a sector.

Eligible Applicants

  • Public and private water sector utilities of all sizes that can demonstrate achievement of the application requirements are encouraged to apply.
  • Applicants must have no major permit violations in the past year prior to the submission date of their application.

Application Requirements

To be considered for recognition, applicants must submit the following written materials per the full application package (found at https://www.wef.org/resources/for-the-public/utility-of-the-future/):

  • Application Part 1: Background Information
  • Application Part 2: Utility of the Future Today Organizational Culture Narrative
  • Application Part 3: Utility of the Future Today Activity Area Description
  • Application Part 4: Signed certification statement

Applicants should fill out the form (found at https://www.wef.org/resources/for-the-public/utility-of-the-future/) and submit the document on this platform at https://wef.secure-platform.com/a/solicitations/229/home by 5:00pm Eastern Time, April 12, 2023. Attachments, graphics, charts, photos and videos will be accepted as part of an application package. Videos may not exceed 500 MB.  Should you have questions about the application, please contact UtilityRecognition@wef.org.

Basis for Recognition

Successful applicants will demonstrate that they are engaged in developing and growing an Organizational Culture that supports Utility of the Future implementation, as well as advancement in one of the following Activity Areas:   

  • Beneficial Biosolids Reuse
  • Partnering and Engagement
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Energy Generation & Recovery
  • Nutrient Reduction & Materials Recovery
  • Water Reuse
  • Watershed Stewardship

Details are included in the application.


Notification and Presentation of Recognition

Applicants will be informed whether or not they were selected for recognition by email. A ceremony will be held at WEFTEC to celebrate recognition recipients. Applicants are not required to attend WEFTEC to receive recognition. Selected utilities will receive a Utility of the Future Today flag to proudly hang/fly as well as a certificate.

Recognition Duration

Utility of the Future Today recognition is granted for a three-year period – this applies to both the Organizational Culture narrative and recognition, as well as the additional Activity Area. After three years, program members must renew their recognition. To renew after three years of program participation, the applicant will need to: 1) show advancements in Organizational Culture, and 2) either show advancement in a previously recognized Activity Area or apply in a new (not previously recognized) Activity Area.
Sponsoring organizations reserve the right to withdraw recognition from any previously selected applicant at any time.