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Building a Global Network to Address Local Challenges

Jacobs serves as the Foundation Partner for the Leading Utilities of the World, an organization created to help put dynamic, high- performance utilities at the center of urban living to build smart, sustainable and beautiful cities while helping others.

Aging infrastructure, climate change, increased environmental awareness and tighter public finances are putting unprecedented pressure on utilities to do more with less.

The response to this pressure has resulted in a wide range of utility performance levels. The best utilities in the world are continuously innovating to elevate their service and performance to new levels, but the fragmented and locally focused utility sector means that these brilliant innovators generally go unnoticed. 

That’s how the The Leading Utilities of the World (LUOW) came to be. LUOW was created to help put dynamic, high- performance utilities at the center of urban living to build smart, sustainable and beautiful cities while helping other utilities gain similar stature.

 The objective of the LUOW is to create a global network of the world’s most successful and innovative water and wastewater utilities to help drive performance across the water sector by recognizing achievement, providing a network for sharing ideas and inspiring others to improve. Since April of 2017, we’ve had the privilege of serving as the Foundation Partner for the Leading Utilities of the World.

 An initiative of the Global Water Leaders Group, the LUOW organization is the gold standard of utility innovation and performance, striving to move the water sector forward through greater collaboration, experience-sharing and knowledge-pooling. Since the organization’s inception, we’ve worked hand-in-hand with the nearly 50 LUOW members, demonstrating our commitment to making a difference in the water sector.

 LUOW brings together the CEOs of water utilities that have demonstrated outstanding achievement in several aspects of utility management and have an ambition to continue to drive performance and benchmark with others. Each year, the network inducts new members to the organization for their outstanding achievement in multiple utility management categories, such as response to drought or scarcity, IT and smart water systems and finance and capital project procurement. Last month, at the American Water Summit, six more utilities were inducted into the LUOW: Tucson Water, Clean water Service, Philadelphia Water, Unitywater, Orange County Water District and Great Lakes Water Authority.

 As the Foundation Partner, Jacobs enriches the network by bringing a private sector engineering perspective to the dialogue and helping support network activities, including helping make LUOW events possible at conferences globally.

Most recently, we had the opportunity to be part of the first LUOW workshop, hosted by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. Nearly 20 LUOW member utilities from around the world participated in two days of knowledge-sharing and networking. See more about this leadership exchange in this short LUOW workshop video produced by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. Note that you’ll need to provide the password (LADWP) to view.

  While every water utility or agency is different, they all face common challenges. LUOW is centered on sharing how these challenges can be addressed and implemented worldwide to accelerate innovation in the water industry and create a more connected, sustainable tomorrow.

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