Water Authority Claims Top Prize from National Water Group – “Platinum Award” from Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies
ALBUQUERQUE, Oct. 16 – The Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies has bestowed upon the Water Authority its highest honor, the 2018 Platinum Award for Utility Excellence. The AMWA announced the prize at a ceremony in San Francisco on October 15. “This award is for the entire utility,” said Water Authority Board Chair Trudy E. Jones “It is the result of the labor and talents of our employees and board members, the leadership of our executive director, and the support of the community we serve.” In naming the Water Authority a Platinum Award Winner, AMWA President Mac Underwood cited the utility’s adoption of Effective Utility Management (EUM) principles in tackling the challenges associated with delivering safe, clean drinking water in an arid community. “AMWA’s 2018 award winners are industry-leading water systems with innovative managers and dedicated workforces who create sustainable utilities marked by high quality, affordable water, responsive customer service and attention to resource management and environmental protection,” Underwood said. Mark Sanchez, the Water Authority’s Executive Director, added that the Platinum award also recognizes the Water Authority's infrastructure investment plan, which the utility has undertaken while striving to keep rates affordable for utility customers. “Receipt of the Platinum award reflects that fact that, even as we ask our customers for additional resources to reinvest in our water and sewer system, we are committed to keeping our operating costs low as possible via increasing energy efficiency, reducing injury hours, and the use of technology,” he said. Water Authority Earns AAA Bond Rating from S&P - “Strong financial management policies” cited in decision ================================== ALBUQUERQUE, Oct. 17 – S&P has upgraded the Water Authority’s bond rating to AAA, the rating agency’s top score, allowing the utility to borrow money for infrastructure projects at the most favorable interest rates. The upgraded rating will translate into some cost savings for the utility as it pays less to borrow money for its basic rehabilitation program and the ongoing, 10-year rehab of the utility’s Southside Water Reclamation Plant. The plant, where the community’s sewage is treated before being returned to the Rio Grande or recycled for use on landscapes and green spaces in Southeast Albuquerque, is about halfway through a $250 million overhaul. “The AAA rating from S&P reflects the Water Authority’s excellent record for responsible financial management,” said Water Authority Chairperson Trudy E. Jones, who also serves on the Albuquerque City Council. “The utility is doing a great job of keeping water and sewer rates affordable while addressing the need for system rehabilitation.” S&P cited the Water Authority’s “strong financial management policies and practices…robust planning efforts…[and] strong levels of pay-as-you-go funding” in its rating decision. Dave Hill, CCIM, NAI Maestas & Ward Senior Director and Vice Chair of the Water Authority Technical Customer Advisory Committee: "The City of Albuquerque not only has one of the best tasting waters in the USA but now has AAA bonding from the S&P."