Who We Are
For 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, as well as a top technical resource for water management, sustainability and ecosystem protection interests.
NACWA represents public wastewater and stormwater agencies of all sizes nationwide. The Association's 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 build a strong and sustainable clean water future.
What We Offer
Des Moines Public Works Watershed Journey to Restore Easter Lake
The City of Des Moines, Iowa is a leader in the development, planning, and execution of efforts to improve water quality and flood management both within city limits and outside of its jurisdictional boundaries. The development and execution of the Easter Lake Watershed Water Quality Management Plan (Plan) is an exciting example of the watershed collaboration efforts that Des Moines is taking a leadership role in – a partnership that features the City, the County, a county-wide District, two State agencies, two Federal agencies, and even the local neighborhood association.
The Easter Lake watershed is a wide swath of the south side of Des Moines. It is a 6,380-acre watershed that drains to Easter Lake, a 178-acre lake that was constructed in 1967. The water quality of the lake had diminished over the years due to increased loads of nutrients and sediment as development occurred around the lake and in the watershed. The lake’s poor water quality impacted the fishery in the lake and the water’s “chocolate milk” appearance impacted the public’s interest in using this important natural resource. In response, area stakeholders worked together to develop the Plan.
The Plan included structural management practices to improve water quality including lake dredging and streamway improvements. It also included non-structural programmatic best management practices across the basin to encourage private property owners to adopt management solutions to reduce non-point pollutant loads such as residential rain gardens.
In addition, there were many fishery improvements made to Easter Lake that included spillway improvements, fish habitat installation, repairs to the existing fish rearing pond, and a fish restock in 2019-2020 which included over 550,000 fish being reintroduced into the lake by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
While the Plan appears to have achieved its aim – the water is clear and safe for wildlife and people alike and visits to the lake have more than doubled – the ultimate measure of success will be the delisting Easter Lake as an impaired water. Due to the number of years of sampling that are required to delist a lake, the earliest that could occur is 2028. Nevertheless, based on all the collaborative efforts of the many partners in the watershed, Easter Lake is well on its way to achieving that goal, serving as a testament to the power of working together.
NACWA awarded the City of Des Moines Public Works a 2021 National Environmental Achievement Award in the Watershed Collaboration category for its effective efforts to improve water quality. Congratulations to everyone involved!
Board Of Directors
NACWA's Board of Directors embodies the clean water sector's most accomplished leadership, informed by decades of collective experience and expertise in water utility operation and management. The Board leads NACWA's governance, allowing it to serve its members with focus and integrity.
The Association is its people. And NACWA's dedicated staff defines the organization's commitment to passionate advocacy, forward thinking leadership and ethical service to members and the clean water community as a whole. They're dedicated and energetic. They're also a lot of fun. Give us a ring...
Member Agencies & Affiliates
The strength of NACWA is its member agencies and affiliates, from publicly-owned wastewater treatment agencies to corporate affiliates from throughout the clean water management chain. Our unique and growing network strengthens the advocacy voice for all members, ensuring they have the tools and expertise necessary to help shape the clean water landscape both locally and nationally.
NACWA’s committee structure invites Association members to work collectively to shape national clean water policy. NACWA’s committees not only help develop the Association's positions on policy and legislation, they help build and foster NACWA's peer-to-peer networking strength, while achieving key initiatives that benefit all members.
Each year, NACWA recognizes the outstanding commitment, innovation and achievements of individuals and agencies through our national awards programs. From contributions to environmental protection, to diligence in compliance, to even intangible positive impact. NACWA is honored to highlight service excellence within the clean water sector.
Engage and collaborate with member utilities of all sizes—small, medium and large—with affiliates/stakeholders from all regions of the country. Membership is not only a path to improving operations or enhancing professional development, it’s a unique opportunity to join the strongest unified voice for shared clean water interests nationwide.