2017 Gold Award for Exceptional Utility Performance

AMWA’s 2017 Gold Awards for Exceptional Utility Performance were presented to:

  • Baltimore City Department of Public Works (Maryland)
  • Great Lakes Water Authority (Michigan)
  • Oklahoma City Water Utilities Trust (Oklahoma)

The Baltimore City Department of Public Works (DPW) embraces change management, sets smart, achievable goals, and plans for long-term continuous improvement and sustainable change.  By utilizing stakeholder values and beliefs, DPW created a strategic plan with measurable objectives and timeframes, built goal teams comprised of employees from all areas of the organization, introduced a performance monitoring and guiding office, and reorganized the utility’s structure to break down silos and facilitate intra-agency communication and workflow. Empowering front-line staff was essential to meeting customer expectations for clean water, a clean city and effective access to DPW services.

Since its standup in 2016, Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) has achieved continual provision of water of unquestionable quality and efficient sewer services; two upgrades of its bond ratings; and execution of an inaugural $1.3 billion bond sale.  GLWA also launched a program to provide qualifying households with help in paying current and past-due bills. It inaugurated an Apprenticeship Program for Electrical Instrumentation Control Technicians and created a leadership-training academy to build employees’ leadership skills.  The Authority developed an asset management governance structure and continued focus on its environmental impact with the operation of its new Biosolids Dryer Facility.

The Oklahoma City Utilities Department and Oklahoma City Water Utilities Trust strive to meet the city’s growth by securing surface water rights through a groundbreaking water rights agreement. The department develops leadership opportunities for employees across all divisions by encouraging safe workforce practices, accountability and customer service.  Its Standard and Poor’s (AAA) and Moody’s (Aaa) bond ratings were reaffirmed in 2015, and strong financial principles place it in the top 5.5 percent of water utilities nationwide. A strategic business plan helps it weigh community needs against available capital and personnel resources with 59 key strategies to continually monitor progress and make improvements.