Watermark Award

The Watermark Award for communications excellence recognizes PNCWA members who have produced top quality education and communication programs or projects. Effective internal and external education and communication are essential to an organization’s success in developing an informed and engaged community.

Submit a Watermark Award Nomination

The Watermark Award recognizes efforts to improve awareness in PNCWA communities and organizations about the value of water and wastewater management across the region.

The Watermark Award recognizes activities in any of the following categories:

  • Communications programs: internal campaigns, external campaigns, crisis communications
  • Publications: annual reports, water quality reports, brochures, postcards, etc.
  • Digital Content: websites, social media, infographics, logos, etc.
  • Community Outreach and Education Programs: events, curriculums, programs
  • Op Eds and Features: guest editorials or columns, feature stories or series
  • Multimedia: video and photography

Who and what are eligible?

Any wastewater or stormwater utility, provider, or association currently a member in good standing with PNCWA is eligible to participate. Projects must be specific to operations of the utility or provider. Previously submitted entries, who have won the Award, are not eligible unless 4 years have elapsed since previously receiving this Award and content/category being submitted must be significantly different compared to the previous entry from that utility.

Judging Criteria

Submittals are primarily judged on how well the piece/program met stated communication goals as well as addressing the following:

  • Public education or internal communication materials developed by/for wastewater/stormwater collection & treatment systems or projects
  • Public education about critical water quality and/or watershed concerns
  • Efforts to address racial and social justice issues
  • Public education required by state and federal clean water regulations
  • Writing and executing strategic plans for capital projects, emergency response, resilience, etc.


Category Descriptions

Any of the following education and community outreach materials or programs created or generated in the last two years qualify for consideration:

#1 Print Communications
This category includes outreach publications such as brochures, newsletters, reports, etc..

#2 Calendars
This category includes calendars created as outreach or education tools for clean water-related topics. (Examples include water quality/watershed protection, resource recovery, operation & maintenance education, etc.)

#3 Electronic Communications
This category includes websites, apps, electronic newsletters, social media applications, infographics, logos, etc..

#4 Video or Sound Productions
This category is open to video or sound productions captured on DVD or CD and aired on radio, TV, website, or shown to live audiences. Please include written script with entry, if available.

#5 Strategic Communication Plans
This category encompasses plans developed for delivering communication messages to selected audiences. Plans should include message goals, delivery methods and selected audience information.

#6 Wildcard
Any communication piece or programmatic effort that does not fit any of the previous six categories can be entered under the Wildcard category.

#7 Internal Communication
This category covers any communications used within your organization to communicate internally with employees, colleagues, elected officials, etc. Possible entries might comprise of internal newsletters, annual reports, videos, plant O&M manuals, standard operating procedures, etc.

Nominate an organization for the Watermark Award now.


Past PNCWA Recipients of the Watermark Award

2023 Metropolitan Wastewater Management Commission, Eugene-Springfield, OR
2022 City of Boise Watershed Vision Book