The National Environmental Achievement Awards recognizes individuals and NACWA member agencies that have made outstanding contributions to environmental protection and the clean water community. Awards are given annually; individuals and agency honorees are recognized at NACWA's Winter Conference. Federal Public Service honorees are recognized during Water Week.

Next Cycle: Sept 2023

Please visit the NEAA Application Portal for details.
Download PDF of NEAA Guidelines & Criteria

Award Categories

Individual Awards

Public Service Award
The NEAA Public Service Award is given to current or former elected or appointed public officials at the local, state and federal level of government who have demonstrated exemplary commitment and service to their community, the environment and to NACWA.

Utility Leadership Award
This award is presented to NACWA Member Agency general managers and executive directors (or equivalent positions), as well as department heads and exemplary utility staff members for outstanding environmental leadership and commitment within their utility and at the local, state, or national level.

Distinguished Service Award
NACWA’s Distinguished Service Award is reserved for individuals formerly representing NACWA member agencies who, during their representation of their utility, maintained an active and distinguished role in the Association in addition to exemplifying a strong dedication to the clean water industry.

President's Award
Each year NACWA’s President has the opportunity to select an individual who has made significant contributions toward achieving the Association’s collective goals and objectives.

Environment Award
NACWA recognizes outstanding service and commitment to the environment with the Environmental Service Award.

Special Recognition Award
NACWA’s Special Recognition Award is reserved for those occasions when an individual’s commitment and service to NACWA’s initiatives clearly makes a difference.

Member Agency Awards

Water Resources Utility of the Future Award
The Water Resources Utility of the Future Award is given to member agencies that demonstrate bold, transformational leadership in managing resources, partner effectively in local economic development, and engage stakeholders – resulting in environmental, economic, and social benefits.

Research & Technology Award
The Research & Technology Award is given to member agencies for their contributions to the field of wastewater treatment or biosolids utilization and disposal.  A research project or technological innovation must directly relate to the processes of collection, treatment or reuse of wastewater or use or disposal of biosolids.  The Project must have been conducted in-house or by consultant under direction of the agency and the project’s results must have practical application.

Operations & Environmental Performance Award
The Operations & Environmental Performance Award is presented to those member agencies for outstanding initiatives in wastewater treatment, wastewater conveyance, stormwater management, and/or environmental enhancement. The award recognizes an innovative and effective project, system or method relating to wastewater treatment plant or collection system operations developed and successfully implemented by an NACWA member in a cost-effective manner while achieving environmental compliance objectives.

Member Agency Public Service Award
The Member Agency Public Service Award is given to member agencies for their significant local, state, or national voluntary public service related to public utility operation or environmental protection.  Projects for this award category must involve agency staff or commissioners with no added payment for public services rendered.

Public Information & Education Award
The Public Information & Education Awards honor agencies for their inventive efforts to educate the public on the effects of waste water treatment and pollution control on the environment.  To qualify, the program, publication, video or e-media must have been produced by the agency staff or by an outside vendor at the express direction of the agency and must cover some aspect of the agency's operations.  Materials must have been produced for general use or distribution.

Workforce Development Award
This award is presented for an outstanding project or program which embodies effective, sustainable solutions that addresses the need for a qualified, diverse, and knowledgeable utility workforce.

Watershed Collaboration Award
This award is presented for an outstanding watershed-based collaborative management initiative or program focused on cost-effective solutions to environmental challenges.

For additional information on NACWA’s Awards Programs contact Brédy Trombino at 202.533.1820.
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