award emory waterhub us water prize

US Water Prize Awarded for WaterHub at Emory

April 12, 2016 – Washington, DC —The US Water Alliance has announced Emory University as one of three winners awarded the prestigious 2016 US Water Prize. This award recognizes organizations and companies that execute innovative solutions toward the advancement of “one water sustainability.”

064630001_5Atlanta-based Emory University is recognized for its WaterHub® project, an on-site, eco-engineered decentralized water reclamation system. The system is capable of displacing up to 146 million gallons of potable water with recycled wastewater annually, nearly 40% of total campus water demand. The WaterHub generates an alternative water supply for critical heating and cooling operations while offering numerous economic, environmental and social benefits to both the University and broader community. The project was completed through a design-build approach between Sustainable Water, project consultant; McKim & Creed, Inc., engineer; and Reeves Young, contractor. With the WaterHub’s superior approach to water management, Sustainable Water and McKim & Creed nominated Emory University for the US Water Prize.

“We are gratified for this recognition from the US Water Alliance for the WaterHub at Emory. Through this project, we’ve shown how universities can play an important role in advancing sustainability nationwide. Not only has the WaterHub had tremendous impact on how we think about water and how it is utilized on campus, it has also become a national model for those seeking innovative technology to address the global need for water conservation and sustainable solutions,” said Matthew Early, Vice President for Emory University Campus Services.

“McKim & Creed is incredibly proud to be a part of such a phenomenal and unique project as the WaterHub at Emory,” said McKim & Creed Senior Vice President Tim Baldwin, PE.  “Emory University has set a very high standard for water conservation that is being recognized and honored throughout the country.”

“The dedication of the WaterHub allows Emory to significantly reduce its demand on the regional water resources. Taking wastewater and turning it into high purity reclaimed water with a natural process, effective today, has been achieved,” stated Jonathan Lanciani, President and CEO of Sustainable Water, LLC. “Know that the WaterHub doesn’t actually require a change in the way we live, merely it allows us to change what we use.”

In announcing the winners, US Water Alliance CEO Radhika Fox said, “While the challenges facing the water sector are great, our capacity of innovation and positive solutions is greater. That’s why the US Water Alliance created the US Water Prize–the first of its kind recognition program that celebrates outstanding achievement in driving towards a sustainable water future. We congratulate our 2016 US Water Prize Winners–DC Water, Dow, and Emory University. They are true visionaries in the one water movement.”

Jim Clark, Senior Vice President at Black & Veatch and chair of the US Water Alliance’s recognition committee, which selects the US Water Prize winners, said “…Emory is showing us what is possible when major anchor institutions like universities invest in water reuse. Our three 2016 winners are nothing short of incredible.”

Other winners of the 2016 US Water Prize include DC Water, for its Walter F. Bailey Bioenergy Facility, and Dow, for its Minimal Liquid Discharge technology. Emory University will join Dow and DC Water at the award ceremony during the One Water Summit June 8 in Atlanta, hosted by the US Water Alliance.

The independent review panel for the US Water Prize included Paul Bowen, Director of Sustainable Operations for The Coca-Cola Company; Robert Glennon, Regents’ Professor and Morris K. Udall Professor of Law & Public Policy, University of Arizona; Bill Reilly, Senior Advisor to TPG Capital and former Administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency; and Dave White, President of Ecosystem Services Exchange and former Chief, Natural Resources Conservation Service at USDA-NRCS.

About the WaterHub at Emory

The first system of its kind installed in the United States, the WaterHub is a campus-scale water reclamation system serving Emory University’s main campus in Atlanta, Georgia. The WaterHub utilizes an eco-engineered treatment process to recycle nearly two-thirds of campus wastewater production – reducing the use of potable water by up to 40%. This new system creates a more resilient campus and mitigates risk by generating an alternative supply for critical heating and cooling operations, while consistently providing significant cost savings for utility operations. Moving the field of water reclamation forward by recycling 400,000 gallons of water per day, the WaterHub project serves as a model for sustainable water management for bulk water consumers.

The WaterHub at Emory was constructed at no capital expense to the end user under an innovative Water Purchase Agreement. Water savings produced by the project are used to pay off the cost of the facility. Since its commissioning in May 2015, the system has saved Emory over 40 million gallons of potable water. At full build-out, the WaterHub is capable of displacing 146 million gallons of water annually and is expected to save millions of dollars in water utility costs for the University over a 20-year period.

The project has won numerous awards and accolades, including 2015 Project Achievement Award by Construction Management Association of America South Atlantic Chapter; 2015 Innovative Project of the Year by the WateReuse Association; 2015 Atlanta E3 Award (liquid assets category) by the Metro Atlanta Chamber; 2015 Superior Environmental Performance award by Georgia Safety, Health and Environmental Conference and the Georgia Chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers; 2015 Innovative Deal of the Year by Urban Land Institute—Virginia; 2016 Engineering Excellence Grand Award by the American Council of Engineering Companies North Carolina; and the 2016 inaugural Fulcrum Award by Southface. Magazines such as District Energy, Industrial WaterWorld, CE News and Sustainable Business Magazine have published articles highlighting the WaterHub for its design as a replicable, sustainable wastewater management solution.