Editor’s Note: The U.S. Water Prize ceremony was held at the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C. on April 132015.

Many of my friends in the conservation and environmental communities tell me how gloomy they feel because there is so little movement on resources and environmental issues in Washington, D.C. these days. I try to cheer them up by pointing to the exciting, systemic developments that are occurring throughout American society, in civil society that is, which reveal positive, successful approaches to environmental restoration and protection throughout the country. The massive growth of the land trust movement (and now water trusts, too, in the West), the Green Building movement, and the dramatic rise in corporate sustainability activities and reporting are a few of the truly exciting developments that come to mind.

In this latter category Coca-Cola has demonstrated uncommon vision and leadership in the realm of water sustainability which is why my organization, the U.S. Water Alliance, is proud to award it the 2015 U.S. Water Prize

2015 U.S. Water Prize

Coca-Cola’s commitment to achieving water neutrality, globally, is truly a galvanizing goal. Just as impressive is its pursuit of water replenishment opportunities that add net environmental value in whatever watersheds make sense.

The Prize is designed to showcase, highlight and educate the broader water community and general public as to new and innovative ways to implement our “One Water” concept, which aims to promote sound stewardship and management of water in all its aspects, from source to treatment or reuse. Indeed, Coca-Cola exemplifies the growing trend in the business sector to recognize and act on the business case for sustainable water management.  We are also honoring the City of San Diego Public Utilities Department and the Electric Power Research Institute for their work promoting water conservation.

On behalf of the Board and staff of the U.S. Water Alliance, I extend our hearty congratulations to Coca-Cola and all of the organizations who received the U.S. Water Prize at last night’s awards ceremony. 

Tracy Mehan

G. Tracy Mehan, III, Interim President, U.S. Water Alliance, and former Assistant Administrator for Water, US EPA.