2007 Gold Award for Competitiveness Achievement

AWMA's 2007 Gold Awards for Competitiveness Achievement were presented to:

  • Beaufort-Jasper Water and Sewer Authority
  • Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities
  • Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District
  • Kansas City Board of Public Utilities
  • Madison Water Utility
  • Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority

Beaufort Jasper Water and Sewer Authority built two water reclamation facilities and one high quality water treatment plant in recent years, all brought online on time and within budget. The utility recently celebrated one million hours without a lost-time work accident, and its dedication to safety has overflowed to all areas of operations. Employee participation in design teams on safety, employee morale, warehouse operations, GIS and human resources all contributed to the success of its competitiveness programs.

In 1996, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities became the first public utility to compete with the private sector and successfully win the bid for operations and maintenance of one of its water treatment plants and one of its wastewater treatment plants. To encourage and acknowledge the employee commitment and creativity that is required for successful competition and optimization, the utility has a gainsharing policy that in recent years netted the utility’s ratepayers an estimated $7 million in cost reduction.

In spite of peak summer demands that are more than five times winter demands, Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District has accomplished substantial efficiency improvements in staff size, organization, cost effectiveness of municipal and industrial water supply, reductions in per capita water use for increased efficiencies, and improvements in planned maintenance work. The utility also has established agreements with related agencies to develop creative and cost-effective water supplies, groundwater cleanup projects, water supply and capacity sharing, and water conservation campaigns.

The Kansas City Board of Public Utilities completed improvement initiatives including automation, a maintenance management system and laboratory information management system, a water distribution facility maintenance and Geographic Information System, a Kronos data collection system, bar code meter data entry system and a new Utility Vac System. The water system has rigorous guidelines for maintaining its bond ratings and has ongoing master planning and infrastructure replacement programs.

Madison Water Utility conducted a competitive assessment in which every employee had an opportunity to participate in a facilitated self-assessment of the organization and to identify opportunities for improvement. The utility then embarked on a strategic plan to make improvements within six key business strategies, involving design teams made up of employees throughout the organization. Actively involved in all areas of conservation of resources from their new "green" office building, to materials recycling, to providing safe, quality water, the water system is also replacing its lead service lines to improve service to its customers.

Since 2004, the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority has undergone a radical renovation process which includes: de-privatization; a renovated relationship with its union; the first rate increase in 20 years; reorganization of operations and maintenance and first time implementation of an integrated preventive maintenance program; the adoption of technology as the main administrative tool; implementation of an aggressive $2.2 billion five-year Capital Improvement Plan; finalization of compliance agreements with regulatory agencies; issuance of bonds for the first time in 20 years; and a radical modification in client servicing.