Press Release

Eight areas (clusters of subwatersheds) were selected by the DRWI for intense work, looking at changes on the land to improve and protect water quality and quantity.

Delaware River Watershed Initiative Wins National Integrated Water Resources Management Award from AWRA


AWRA is pleased to announce that the Delaware River Watershed Initiative (DRWI) is the 2018 winner of the Association's prestigious Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) Award. 

The award will be presented during the Annual Awards Luncheon at the Association's Annual Water Resources Conference, November 7, 2018, Marriott Inner Harbor, Camden Yards, Baltimore, MD.

“It is so exciting to win the prestigious AWRA IWRM Award,” commented Carol Collier, senior advisor for Watershed Management and Policy at Drexel University, who submitted the nomination packet on behalf of the DRWI Coordinating Committee. “ The Delaware River Watershed Initiative (DRWI) is a bottom-up, non-regulatory approach, engaging over 50 NGOs working with land owners and local government officials to improve the water quality and biological communities of local streams. The more local streams that are improved or protected, the better the whole Delaware River Basin will be. We thank AWRA for recognizing this example of IWRM.”

Launched in January 2014, the Delaware River Watershed Initiative (DRWI) involves over 50 non-government organizations (NGOs) focused on restoration of areas impacted by agricultural runoff, suburban stormwater, and aquifer depletion, and protection of forested areas in watersheds with high water quality.

New water quality models, mapping and GIS tools were developed specifically for the Delaware Basin, along with specific social and collaborative skills. The Initiative brought together non-government organizations that were used to competing for funds and resources. Over the past four years, one can see that the NGOs are collaborating better and realizing that there is benefit to being part of something bigger.

On the ground results thus far:
  • Lands Restored: 8,818 acres with BMPs, 52 miles of riparian restoration, 744,108 pounds of nitrogen avoided, $7,964,952 invested with a $15,207,032 match leverage.
  • Lands Protected: 46 projects, 19,605 acres, 87 miles of forested stream banks, $8,168.204 invested with a $55,629,702 match leverage.

The AWRA Awards committee had this to say when announcing DRWI as winner of the association’s IWRM award, “The DRWI is quintessentially IWRM. We loved the project’s commitment to institution and relationship building, including developing a basin-wide community willing to self-fund needed projects in the future.”

AWRA will also present several other awards during the November conference, including:
W. R. Boggess Award
Lead Author: Ikechukwu C. Ahams
Co-Authors:  Willa Paterson, Susana Garcia, Richard Rushforth, Benjamin L. Ruddell and Alfonso Mejia
Paper Title:  "Water Footprint of 65 Mid- to Large-Sized U.S. Cities and Their Metropolitan Areas” Published in the Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA), October 2017

Icko Iben Award
Norman Starler

William C. Ackermann Medal
Robert J. Moresi

A. Ivan Johnson Outstanding Young Professional Award
Patrick Ray

Outstanding AWRA State Section 
National Capital Region

Outstanding AWRA Student Chapter 
University of Delaware Student Chapter

Each year, AWRA recognizes individuals, organizations, projects, state sections, and student chapters for outstanding leadership and service in the water resources profession. Individuals and organizations have an opportunity to nominate candidates in 10 different categories each spring, with awards presented during AWRA’s annual conference in the fall. AWRA awards program details.


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