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Shape Our Water receives Water Environment Federation Award 

Seattle is working together, as a community, to envision the next 50-years of equitable and environmentally sound drainage and sewer investments, and the Water Environment Federation, a national organization of water quality professionals, has noticed. 

We are proud that our Shape Our Water Community Vision was awarded a 2022 Water and Environment Foundation Public Communication & Outreach Program Award.  

Shape Our Water partnered with community to develop a vision for Seattle’s water resilience. We engaged communities, especially those who have been underserved, in planning Seattle’s resilient and innovative water future. This is because all communities’ lived experiences with drainage and wastewater systems matter. And, as a local public utility, we need to pay particular attention to the burdens and benefits related to our infrastructure. We want a water resilient future for everyone

We’re especially grateful to our community partners who helped make it possible. There are three key ways you can see these partnerships in action and learn about the engagement strategies that earned this WEF award: 

  • Community Stories – Shared community stories about connections to urban waters and what people value about how water shapes their lives. 
  • Online tools—Developed robust tools to engage communities during a pandemic, including community tours, an online infrastructure map, and an overview of the SPU DWW services. 
  • Fireside Series: Community expertise (Design Team) co-created the Fireside event series. The Fireside series were conversations about Planning our Water future, water justice, and moving waters. 

Huge thanks to WEF for recognizing our accomplishments promoting awareness and understanding of water environment issues.  

Shape Our Water continues. In 2023, we’ll initiate community planning events and hope you’ll join us. Visit and sign up for our listserv. 

Drawing that says "Shape Our Water Engagement Activies were co-created by: BIPOC Community Members, Design Team and Innovators, Artists, Grassroots Organizers, Local Media, Reps from Community Groups"
The Shape Our Water Community Vision was created by a community design team, community partners, SPU staff, and consultants, including: MAKERS Architecture and Urban Design, Team Soapbox, Futurewise, Rule Seven, and Kapwa Consulting.