The UOTF 2021 Application Process Has Ended

Honorees will be notified during the summer via WEF


The Utility of the Future Today (UOTF) recognition program returns for a sixth year to honor water resource recovery facilities for community engagement, watershed stewardship, and recovery of resources such as water, energy, and nutrients. The deadline to apply for recognition this year is May 21st.


The UOTF concept is being promoted as the nation’s water systems transform operations through innovation and technology. The Utility of the Future is a model for utilities of all sizes to achieve more efficient operations, enhanced productivity, and long-term sustainability. More than 120 utilities have been recognized since the launch of the program in 2016.


The Utility of the Future activity areas focus on the key building blocks of this transformation:

  • recovery and new uses of a range of resources;
  • engagement as a leader in the full water cycle and broader social, economic, and environmental sustainability of the community;
  • engagement in the community and formation of partnerships necessary for success when operating outside of the traditional span of the utility; and
  • transformation of the internal utility culture in support of these innovations.


Public and private water sector utilities of all sizes that can demonstrate achievement of the application requirements are encouraged to apply by 5 p.m. EDT, MAY 21st. Applicants must have no major permit violations in the year prior to the submission date of their applications.

Notification and Presentation of Recognition


Honorees will be notified during the summer and formally recognized during an awards presentation at WEFTEC 2021—WEF’s 94th annual technical exhibition and conference.


Collaborative Effort


Since the Utility of the Future concept was introduced in 2013, many utilities have successfully implemented new and creative programs to address local wastewater technical and community challenges. The recognition program was launched in 2016 by the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), the Water Environment Federation (WEF), The Water Research Foundation (WRF), and the WateReuse Association —with input from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 

To learn more, visit or contact

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