CH2M reuse promotion drive picks up Stockholm prize

Colorado-based service and engineering company, CH2M, has won the 2015 Stockholm International Water Institute's (SIWI's) Stockholm Industry Water Award, for developing and advancing methods to clean water and increasing public acceptance of recycled water.

SIWI's executive director, Torgny Holmgren, highlighted the companies work in raising awareness of the importance of potable reuse: "In working for public acceptance of drinking treated wastewater, CH2M has taken a step beyond engineering, and shown impressive commitment to wise water management."

"Through rigorous testing and analysis of both technical processes and societal perceptions, CH2M has created the opportunity to close the urban water loop," the award committee stated in its citation.

CH2M has invented, implemented and refined methods for purifying wastewater to drinking water quality. while investing significant effort into building public understanding and acceptance potable reuse . It pioneered the application of social science research to understand better the underlying reasons for why people reject the notion of reuse and what might be done to change that mindset.

"While technological innovation is an important part of our contribution to water reuse, many of the pivotal water reuse milestones would not have been built if the public had not accepted them. Through technology and innovative public education tools, we will continue to contribute to a more sustainable water future," said CH2M's global water technology director, Brock McEwen.

In the 1970s, CH2M designed the world's first surface water indirect potable reuse plant, improving the water quality for more than one million people in northern Virginia-- raising the bar for cost-effective wastewater treatment.

In the early 2000s CH2M worked with Singapore's national water agency, to not only prove the safety of potable reuse, but to win public acceptance with the country's NEWater project.

"In a rapidly urbanizing world where the vast majority of sewage spills untreated out into the environment, the transformative technologies and strategic communication of this year's SIWA winner has provided a significant step towards future water security of cities." the Award Committee concludes.

The Stockholm Industry Water Award was established in 2000 to stimulate and celebrate outstanding and transformative water achievements by companies in improving production, managing risks, finding solutions and contributing to wise water management.


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