The US Water Alliance recognizes eight individuals and organizations committed to water justice

Healthy Community Services’ Water Wise 7th Ward Project Selected for US Water Prize

The US Water Alliance, a Kresge Environmental Program grantee, has announced the winners of its annual 2022 US Water Prize. This coveted award recognizes eight individuals and organizations across the country who are driving innovation in the water sector and envisioning new opportunities for water justice.

The US Water Awards ceremony took place during the Kresges Climate Resilient and Equitable Water Systems (CREWS) meeting September 11-13 in Milwaukee, which brought together dozens of organizations working at the intersection of climate change, urban water stewardship and equity . The convocation was hosted in partnership with the US Water Alliance and Milwaukee Water Commons.

The challenges in the water sector – and across the country – are increasingly being exacerbated by climate change. Water is often one of the first places the public feels climate impacts, especially for low-income and communities of color. The Alliance estimates that 2,000,000 people across all 50 states lack access to safe drinking water and sanitation.

“With the increasing water pressure on communities, now is the time for One Water leaders to be recognized for their inspirational, innovative and scalable work on One Water solutions,” said Mami Hara, CEO of the US Water Alliance. “This year’s winners were chosen from a very impressive list of nominees. It is incredible to see One Water being expressed across industries to ensure a sustainable water future for all.”

One of the winning organizations was Healthy Community Services, a grant partner of the Kresge CREWS Initiative, for their Water Wise 7th Ward project. Led by Executive Director Angela Chalk, Healthy Community Services was recognized for its focus on community-led green infrastructure education in chronic flood-plagued New Orleans’ black-majority neighborhoods.

Watch a video about the project: Water Wise Gulf South, NOLA leaders are committed to green infrastructure

“I am both humbled and proud that Healthy Community Services is recognized for the work they do in the water sector,” Chalk said. “The true distinction, however, represents the community-led actions of the people of the 7th generationth Ward in New Orleans and my colleagues at the Water Wise Gulf South collective.”

Check out the full list of 2022 US Water Prize winners:

  • Outstanding Public Sector Organization: City and County of Honolulu—An innovative evolution of city-scale One Water plans, the City and County of Honolulu embraces an outstanding state-of-the-art approach to holistic water stewardship. With their integration into state politics, these plans set the bar even higher.
  • Outstanding Private Sector Organisation: Schneider Electric/Willingboro Municipal Utilities Authority – As a public-private partnership for the mutual benefit of the utility and the community, these parties have jointly developed a project to help control the costs of overhauling the utility’s power and metering systems.
  • Outstanding Nonprofit Organization: Healthy Community Services – Healthy Community Services won for their Water Wise 7th Ward project because it focused on community-led education on green infrastructure in a majority-black New Orleans ward plagued by chronic flooding.
  • Outstanding Cross-Industry Partnership: Jordan Lake One Water – An impressive cross-sector model for water management, Jordan Lake One Water brought together diverse components around an integrated One Water approach to management in the region. They also work directly with policymakers to embed One Water into state and local policies.
  • Outstanding Official: Governor Tony Evers—Governor Evers has made water a top priority during his campaigns and in office as Wisconsin governor. His bold and collaborative approach has successfully built consensus with a range of partners to develop One Water solutions for the state.
  • Outstanding Rising One Water Leader: Maura Jarvis – Maura is a rising star in the water sector and is recognized for her work with the Philadelphia Department of Water on public engagement, building trust and promoting collaborative thinking around water. Her vision for the public sector is for leaders that reflect the communities they serve.
  • Outstanding Artist: Jourdan Imani Keith—A preeminent poet and spoken-word artist, Jourdan’s work with Seattle Public Utilities has raised the water and combined environmental and social messages in a deeply personal way.
  • Excellent one-water communication: Great Lakes News Collaborative—Providing excellent and comprehensive coverage of water issues in the Great Lakes, these journalists are effective in driving public discussion about water, the environment and affordability.

Learn more about the US Water Alliance and the US Water Prize. Follow the US Water Alliance on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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