The city of Henderson, Nev., Department of Utility Services won a 2005 Platinum Award for Sustained Competitiveness Achievement from the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies. The department discharges highly treated wastewater to the Las Vegas Wash, which flows to Lake Mead, the city's water source water. Photo: City of Henderson

The Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA) has acknowledged several public water agencies with its 2005 Competitiveness Achievement Awards.

A total of 14 utilities received Platinum Awards for Sustained Competitiveness Achievement, given for demonstrating success in balancing business goals with the interests of customers, government, employees, and regulators. Judges considered how improvement gains from effectiveness and efficiency had been reinvested to increase quality, customer satisfaction, and control rates. Winning utilities adopted new technologies, with special attention to financing, process redesign, reengineering, and training.

Additionally, seven agencies garnered Gold Awards for Competitiveness Achievement, which recognize a utility's benchmarking and competitiveness strategy, and improvement initiatives in plant maintenance, engineering, finance, administration, and employee development. Winners met goals for overall efficiency, cost of operation, and quality of service, and they used labor-management task forces to reengineer work processes, ongoing programs to evaluate customer satisfaction, and proactive steps to ensure or improve bond ratings. In addition, winners use plans for systematic replacement and rehabilitation of production and delivery system infrastructure to help ensure adequate future water supplies.

For more information about the awards program and a complete list of winners, visit