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Water Leaders Award

The Water Leaders Award is the only Global Water Award that rewards performance improvements in public water utilities in developing countries over the past year.

The Winner receives international acclaim for their utility's performance improvements, including presentation of the iconic Global Water Award crystal trophy in front of over 600 of the world's foremost leaders in the water sector during the Gala Dinner of the annual Global Water Summit.

Criteria for Nominations

  1. The utility must be from a developing region as defined by the United Nations;
  2. The utility must be able to demonstrate a step-change in performance improvement in the calendar year preceding the award year; and,
  3. In the event that the utility is shortlisted after the nominations process, the utility’ CEO should be available to attend the Global Water Awards Gala Dinner at the Global Water Summit. The winner will be announced during the dinner.

Submission Instructions

Please visit the Global Water Awards or the Global Water Summit for further information.


Past Award Recipients

Winner 2022

Beijing Drainage Group, China

Distinction 2022

Water Corporation of Odisha, India

Winner 2020

Nyewasco, Kenya

Distinction 2020

Obras Sanitarias Mar del Plata-Batán, Argentina

Winner 2019

Istanbul Water and Sewerage Administration (ISKI), Turkey

Distinction 2019

National Water and Sewerage Corporation, Uganda

Winner 2018

Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board

Distinction 2018

Agua y Saneamientos Argentinos SA

Winner 2017

Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company, Kenya

Distinction 2017

Water Authority of Fiji

Winner 2016

WASAC Ltd, Rwanda

Distinction 2016

NAWASA, Grenada

Winner 2015

Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply And Sewerage Board, India

The utility fast-tracked its innovative resilience plan amidst acute water scarcity. Water was sourced from coal mines, recycled water, rainwater and seawater to protect the city from a full scale water crisis.

Distinction 2015

Azersu, Azerbaijan

Azersu increased its customer base by more than 105,000 people and undertook major performance transformation including infrastructure upgrades for water supply, treatment, information technology, customer information systems and smart networks.

Winner 2014

Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board, India

The utility’s newly augmented supply systems have led to storage reliability in Osmansagar and Himayatsagar reservoirs, and increased and uninterrupted services in Hyderabad signalling a massive improvement from the previous situation of alternate day services.

Distinction 2014

National Water and Sewerage Corporation, Uganda

The transformation of the Uganda National Water and Sewerage Corporation climbed to higher heights in 2013 when new annual connections increased to 28,000, and the urban service area almost doubled, bringing in new customers and increasing profit by 30 percent.

Winner 2013

Dhaka WASA, Bangladesh

The utility's Turnaround programme is about institutional reform for capacity building, transparency accountability at the chain of command, mind-set of change, as well as cost-effective management and customer service excellence. The utility increased water production, started a new call centre for centralised customer interfacing, as well as implemented a real time online billing system networking in Bangladesh and abroad to improve collections. Increasing community-based access in informal settlements led to a reduction of non-revenue water. For the utility, economic savings from the reduction in stolen water outweighed the cost of providing tariff-free water to the informal settlements.

Distinction 2013

Guma Valley Water Company, Sierra Leone

Once an ailing utility, GVWC recently leapt to the forefront of utility success stories. Three objectives were prioritised to start the utility’s transformation: reducing non-revenue water, improving revenue collections, and improving the ‘appalling’ image of the utility. GVWC successfully resurrected stakeholder interest from investors, donors, suppliers, customers, staff and peers. The GVWC is now a more attractive investment and the story proves that business re-engineering models that are currently being advocated in other sectors can be very successfully adapted to the public water sector for improved service delivery. It is a model of a successful business turn-around; not only in Sierra Leone; but in the West African region.

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