The 7th Awards Ceremony for the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water (PSIPW) took place on 2 November 2016 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.
PSIPW is a leading, global scientific award focusing on cutting-edge innovation in water research.
Every two years, PSIPW offers five distinctive prizes that give recognition to scientists, researchers and inventors around the world for pioneering work that addresses the problem of water scarcity in creative and effective ways.
The recipients of the five prizes were presented their awards by PSIPW Council chairman HRH Prince Khaled Bin Sultan and UN General Secretary H.E. Mr Ban Ki-moon.
The eight recipients of the Prize were:
Dr. Rita Colwell of the University of Maryland at College Park and Dr. Shafiqul Islam of Tufts University, (Creativity Prize) for using chlorophyll information from satellite data to predict cholera outbreaks at least three to six months in advance.
Dr. Peter J. Webster of the Georgia Institute of Technology (Creativity Prize) for a model that forecasts monsoonal floods one to two weeks in advance.
Dr. Gary Parker of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (Surface Water Prize) for advances in the scientific understanding of changes in river flows and, consequently, the functionality of river systems as a water source.
Dr. Tissa H. Illangasekare of the Colorado School of Mines (Groundwater Prize) for work that contributes significantly to the prediction of the long‐term fate of pollutants in groundwater systems.
Dr. Rong Wang & Dr. Anthony G. Fane of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (Alternative Water Research Prize) for developing energy-efficient novel membranes to sustainability sanitize larger volumes of water.
Dr. Daniel P. Loucks of Cornell University (Water Management & Protection Prize) for developing and implementing the systems approach to water resources management.
HRH Prince Khalid articulated PSIPW’s vision when he said: “We will not be able to protect the blessing of our various water resources without advanced technology.” He emphasised that confronting the water crisis “requires developing better techniques for wastewater treatment and reuse. We need to find ways to increase agricultural yields with lower water consumption. New desalination technologies need to be aggressively developed. Solar energy should be promoted. We need to actively prevent land degradation, deforestation, ecosystem loss, and environmental pollution.”
UN Secretary General Mr. Ban-Ki-moon, reiterated this vision, saying “Science has a crucial role to play” in facing the water challenge.
“This award will motivate more research and raise awareness of this issue around the world,” he asserted, adding that water sanitation “requires investment and partnership and international attention and cooperation among different scientific communities and nations.”
The UN missions of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Thailand and Tajikistan co-sponsored the gala awards ceremony at the United Nations, which was attended by approximately 150 high-level diplomats and UN officials.