Outstanding Stewards of America’s Waters Award

The 2016 OSAW Award cycle is now OPEN!

CLICK HERE to submit your application.

Hydropower’s proven track record of providing a domestic source of clean, renewable, and reliable electricity for more than 125 years is no accident. It has taken hard work, perseverance, creativity, innovation, and a collaborative spirit. Today, these same values are also driving a new generation of hydropower projects that harness the power of oceans, tides, man-made conduits and other waterways, in addition to rivers. Hydropower, defined as deriving power from any source of moving water, is an integral part of America’s energy future.

OSAW Timeline

  • Applications are due by December 22, 2015.
  • Winners will be notified in February 2016.
  • The award ceremony will take place during NHA’s Annual Conference, April 25-27, 2016 in Washington, DC.

Application Guide

For more information on eligibility, categories, and helpful hints when applying, please click here to download the applicants guide.


CLICK HERE to submit your application.


  • Specific projects, programs, activities or events pertaining to hydropower in the United States or Canada that meet the three category criteria.
  • An application for a specific accomplishment may be submitted in only one category; however, an applicant may submit applications for multiple different accomplishments.
  • An accomplishment, or the intended effect or result of an accomplishment, must have occurred or have been substantially realized in 2015.


Up to three awards will be presented for each of the three categories. For each application, the submitted accomplishment must be clearly identified and have tangible results for activities undertaken in the year 2015

  • Operational Excellence
  • Public Education
  • Recreational, Historical, & Environmental Enhancement

Judging Criteria

  • Challenge (30%)
  • Innovation (30%)
  • Results (30%)
  • WOW Factor (10%)

OSAW’s History

In 1994, the National Hydropower Association (NHA) created the Hydro Achievement Awards to recognize organizations and projects committed to excellence in the development and operation of hydropower. In 1999, NHA added the Outstanding Stewardship of America’s Rivers (OSAR) Report to profile the best examples of hydropower’s ability to generate clean, renewable, reliable and affordable electricity while protecting the riverine ecosystem.

Beginning in 2007, these two recognition programs were merged to more effectively provide recognition to deserving organizations and to reflect the changing nature of the hydropower industry, particularly the fact that hydropower can be used in various waterways. The new award program is called the Outstanding Stewards of America’s Waters (OSAW).