Scottsdale Water receives nation’s top utility management award

Scottsdale Water was recognized this week by the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies with the Sustainable Water Utility Management Award – the highest industry recognition conferred to municipal water agencies. The Sustainable Water Utility Management Award acknowledges water utilities that have made a commitment to management that achieves a balance of innovative and successful efforts in areas of economic, social and environmental endeavors.

In awarding Scottsdale the prestigious honor, AMWA heralded Scottsdale’s strategic planning and long history of innovation and community support.

"AMWA’s 2018 award winners are industry-leading water systems with innovative managers and dedicated workforces who create sustainable utilities marked by high quality, affordable water, responsive customer service and attention to resource management and environmental protection," said AMWA President Mac Underwood, General Manager, Birmingham Water Works. "The accomplishments of these exceptionally well-run public utilities should be a source of pride for the communities they serve."

In addition to providing exceptional quality drinking water and service, Scottsdale Water operates one of the most sophisticated potable water reuse facilities in the world and has been an industry leader in the realm since the Advance Water Treatment facility at the Scottsdale Water Campus began operation in 1998. The utility recharges an average of 1.7 billion gallons of ultrapure recycled water into the aquifer annually, helping ensure long-term water supplies and the integrity of the aquifer.

Through aggressive recharge efforts, Scottsdale Water has replenished over 65 billion gallons of water since the Scottsdale Water Campus came online in 1998, helping Scottsdale become the first city in Arizona to achieve "safe yield" – pumping less groundwater out of the aquifer than recharging back in – which the state mandated must be achieved by the year 2025. Scottsdale has achieved safe yield every year since 2006.

Scottsdale Water Executive Director Brian K. Biesemeyer, P.E. was in San Francisco earlier this week to accept the award before returning to Scottsdale to celebrate the landmark 20th anniversary of the utility’s world-renowned Scottsdale Water Campus.

"Achieving the Sustainable Water Utility Management Award is an extraordinary honor," said Biesemeyer. "It is especially meaningful to receive this prestigious award at a time when we are also celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Scottsdale Water Campus – Arizona’s first indirect potable water reuse facility and one of the world’s most advanced water recycling operations."

"This award demonstrates Scottsdale’s long-term commitment to water sustainability and innovation," Biesemeyer continued, "but it is also a testament to the hard work and dedication of the people who make Scottsdale Water one of the nation’s top water utilities."

Additional information on Scottsdale Water’s accomplishments are explained in detail in the Sustainable Water Utility Management application (PDF)

About Scottsdale Water

Scottsdale Water – has been providing quality drinking water and advanced reclamation services to Scottsdale businesses and residents for over 40 years.

In 2017, Scottsdale Water delivered an average of 67 million gallons of potable water a day to its customers through over 2,000 miles of water pipes and mains, 14 pressure zones and 10,000 fire hydrants. Scottsdale’s reclamation system has approximately 1,400 miles of sewer collection lines and over 40 lift stations.

Prior to the mid 1980s, Scottsdale relied almost entirely on groundwater for its water supply. Today, Scottsdale Water holds a complex and diverse water portfolio with approximately 90 percent of its drinking water coming from two renewable surface water sources: the Central Arizona Project, which delivers water from the Colorado River, and the Salt River Project, which brings water from the Salt and Verde rivers.

In addition to two traditional reclamation facilities, Scottsdale Water operates the Advanced Water Treatment facility, one of the nation’s first and largest indirect potable reuse facilities. The AWT uses state-of-the-art technologies including ultrafiltration, reverse osmosis, ozonation and ultraviolet disinfection to produce up to 20 million gallons a day of highly treated recycled water that exceeds drinking water standards.

This water is pumped into the aquifer to augment groundwater supplies and can be delivered to 23 golf courses through the Reclaimed Water Distribution System – a complex system of pipelines and booster pump stations funded through a long-term, public-private partnership. Scottsdale Water recharges over 1.7 billion gallons of ultrapure recycled water into the aquifer annually.

Scottsdale Water is an integrated water, and wastewater service provider and is a financially self-supporting municipal utility with an annual budget of approximately $123 million. It is managed by an executive director, who reports to the city manager. City council guides the division’s authority and responsibility through resolutions and ordinances.

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