Foster Innovation within Water Utilities

LIFT Affiliates are encouraged to implement activities and programs that foster innovation within water utilities. This allows for knowledge sharing and learning opportunities that otherwise might not be easily available.

Program and Activity Examples:

  • Utility-to-utility mentorship programs
  • Program to see and visit new technologies
  • Staff exchange program 

Many utilities are interested in developing an innovation program, but don’t know where to start.  Additionally, utilities that have an innovation program are looking to move up the curve.  A recently completed project funded by WE&RF, WRF, and partner utilities provides guidance for utilities to create organization-wide innovation environments incorporating best practices from available literature and successful innovation program experience. The final report includes a literature review, global surveys, case studies, and a guidance manual to assist utilities seeking to foster innovation. The final report is available here.

Utility Opportunities

LIFT is actively engaged in promoting additional opportunities for utilities, including working closely with the U.S. Department of Energy to identify new water sector R&D and technical assistance opportunities to better save, manage, and recover energy. LIFT Affiliates can help promote these opportunities to utilities in their region.

Most applicable to our industry is the Better Plants Program, a national voluntary energy efficiency leadership initiative that helps organizations improve their energy intensity by 25% over 10 years, develop energy management plans, and track and report their annual progress. Fourteen water and wastewater utilities joined Better Plants in 2015.  

> Read Water Online Article on Better Plants Program