The Great Lakes Water Utility Energy Challenge Announces Its Winners

Five water utilities in Illinois, Michigan, New York and Wisconsin are honored.

WUEC Emission and Green Champion Awards

The Great Lakes Protection Fund and American Water Works Association are thrilled to announce the winners of the inaugural Water Utility Energy Challenge (WUEC), an innovative program which engaged water operators in a competition to reduce the emissions sourced in their energy generation. 

The inaugural 2017-2018 competition, focused on the Great Lakes Basin, was aimed at connecting the utilities with new innovative software that reduces mercury and other emissions while reducing the utility’s operations and management costs.

“We’re really impressed with the breadth of the WUEC winners. They represent a wide range of communities, from small towns to large urban areas, and epitomize the next generation of cutting-edge water utilities. The winners proved that all utilities can use the cleanest energy to deliver safe drinking water to their customers and significantly reduce the associated emissions of mercury, lead, carbon and nitric oxide. It is the sort of thing that makes a big difference,” noted AWWA CEO David LaFrance.

The winners are:

Water Utility Emissions Champion, $20,000 Prize - City of Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Water Utility Green Champion, $10,000 Prize - City of Bayfield, Bayfield, Wisconsin

Best Pilot Project - Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA), Detroit, Michigan

Technical Leader - City of Highland Park, Highland Park, Illinois

Carbon Reduction Leader - Onondaga County Water Authority (OCWA), North Syracuse, New York

David Rankin, the vice president of programs for GLPF, remarked: “By using innovative technologies to protect the Great Lakes, the WUEC winners are a testament to the creativity and innovation needed to run a successful water utility today. We’re pleased with the emission reductions from this small pilot program. The carbon reduction alone was 1.5 million pounds and the overall emissions reduction was equivalent to approximately 2,500 houses being removed from the system. With this ambitious start, when they scale up, these water utilities could easily mitigate more than five times that amount.”

More information on the challenge can be found by visiting

About the Water Utility Energy Challenge

The Water Utility Energy Challenge (WUEC) is a technology competition focused on water utilities in the Great Lakes Basin. Offering two top cash prizes of $20,000 and $10,000, the Water Utility Energy Challenge is supported by the Great Lakes Protection Fund. It is a collaborative effort of the American Water Works Association, CDM Smith, E2I, Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, Growth Capital Network and Wayne State University. For more information,

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About the Great Lakes Protection Fund

The Great Lakes Protection Fund (GLPF) is a private, nonprofit corporation formed in 1989 by the governors of the Great Lakes states. It is a permanent environmental endowment that supports collaborative actions to improve the health of the Great Lakes ecosystem. To date, the fund has made 272 grants and program-related investments representing over $81 million to support the creative work of collaborative teams that test new ideas, take risks and share what they learn.

About the American Water Works Association

Established in 1881, the American Water Works Association is the largest nonprofit, scientific and educational association dedicated to managing and treating water, the world’s most important resource. With approximately 51,000 members, AWWA provides solutions to improve public health, protect the environment, strengthen the economy and enhance our quality of life.

For additional details, please contact Lauren Bigelow,

Source: American Water Works Association


Categories: Water, Sewage, and Septic Systems, Utilities

Tags: Awards, Emission reduction, GLPF, Great Lakes, Innovation, lead, Mercury, Water Utility, Winners

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About Water Utility Energy Challenge

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The Water Utility Energy Challenge (WUEC) is a technology competition focused on Great Lakes water utilities, supported by the Great Lakes Protection Fund and partnered with the AWWA.

Lauren Bigelow
Media & Press Relations, WUEC, Water Utility Energy Challenge
Water Utility Energy Challenge
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