CEDAR RAPIDS, IA — Today the US Water Alliance announced the winners of the US Water Prize, a prestigious award for outstanding work towards changing how water is viewed, valued, and managed. Awards were given in six categories to outstanding individuals and organizations that inspire us to create a more sustainable water future for all: Cross-Sector Partnership, Public Sector, Private Sector, Non-Profit, Outstanding Journalism on the Value of Water, and Outstanding Public Official.
The City of Cedar Rapids won in the Public Sector category for its leadership in the Middle Cedar Partnership Project (MCPP). The MCPP is a collaboration between downstream water users, upstream conservation entities and local farmers. Led by the City of Cedar Rapids, these groups partner to increase the implementation of nutrient-management and flood-reduction practices in targeted areas of the Middle Cedar watershed. The project’s goals are improved water quality, water quantity, and soil health.
“There is an urgent need to address increasing concentrations of nitrates and extreme flood events in the Cedar River,” said City of Cedar Rapids Utilities Director Steve Hershner. “We believe that MCPP has demonstrated a successful model for information outreach and conservation practice implementation.”
US Water Alliance CEO Radhika Fox said, “Water is one of the most pressing issues of our time, and the water challenges we face are complicated. These innovative and inspiring leaders are demonstrating to the nation what is possible and how we can build a better water future for all.”
The US Water Prizes will be distributed on the evening of September 18, 2019, in Austin, Texas as part of the US Water Alliance’s One Water Summit, the premier national conference focused on sustainable water management that bringing together close to 1,000 leaders from across the country.
Hershner will receive the award on behalf of the City of Cedar Rapids. He will also participate in a panel discussion at the summit on Thursday titled, “Agriculture and Water — Stronger Together,” highlighting the stories, economics, and incentives of collaborative watershed approaches.
US Water Alliance advances policies and programs to secure a sustainable water future for all. Established in 2008, the Alliance is a nationally recognized nonprofit organization that educates the nation on the true value of water, accelerates the adoption of one water policies and programs, and celebrates innovation in water management. The Alliance brings together diverse interests to identify and advance common-ground, achievable solutions to our nation's most pressing water challenges. Our membership includes water providers, public officials, business leaders, environmental organizations, community leaders, policy organizations, and more.
Learn more about the Middle Cedar Partnership Project at www.CityofCR.com/MCPP