International Water Prize Awarded

  • Author: ChemViews
  • Published Date: 06 January 2013
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
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The 2012 Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water recognizes exceptional and innovative work that contributes to the sustainable availability of potable water and the alleviation of the escalating global problem of water scarcity. Five bi-annual prizes, covering the entire water research landscape, are awarded consisting of one Creativity Prize worth $266,000 and four Specialized Prizes each worth $133,000.


The prizes were awarded at a ceremony in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on 6 January 2013. The ceremony was held as part of the 5th International Conference on Water Resources and Arid Environments (ICWRAE 5), 7–9 January 2013.


The 2012 winners are:


Creativity Prize



Professor Ashok Gadgil
, University of California, Berkeley (UCB), USA, and his team: Dr. Susan Addy, UCB, Dr. Robert Kostecki, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, California, USA, Professor Joyashree Roy, Jadavpur University, India, Case van Genuchten, UCB.

For developing an innovative and effective method of treating the arsenic contamination of groundwater using electrocoagulation. His method uses electricity to continuously dissolve an iron electrode and create rust in contaminated water. At the same time, trivalent arsenite (As[III]) is oxidized to pentavalent arsenate (As[V]) to increase its ability to bind to rust. The resulting arsenic-laden rust particles can then be removed from the water through settling and/or filtration.

Ashok Gadgil gained his M.Sc. in physics from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. He is currently Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the UCB and Director of the Energy and Environmental Technologies Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, California, USA.


Specialized Prize: Surface Water



Professor Kevin Trenberth
and Dr. Aiguo Dai, National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), USA.

For their climate model that provides a powerful estimate of the effects of climate change on the global hydrological cycle, with a clear explanation of the global water budget.

Kevin Trenberth studied mathematics at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand, and obtained his Sc.D. in meteorology in 1972 from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA. Following several years in the New Zealand Meteorological Service, he joined the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Illinois, USA, and became a full Professor in 1984, before moving to NCAR in 1984.


Specialized Prize: Groundwater



Professor Charles F. Harvey
and Dr. Abu Borhan Mohammad Badruzzaman, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA.

For developing a complete diagnostic and conceptual model for understanding and preventing the arsenic contamination of groundwater.

Charles Harvey studied mathematics at Oberlin College, Ohio, USA, before moving to Stanford University, USA, for his M.S. in Applied Earth Science. He gained his Ph.D. in 1996 in Geological and Environmental Science at the same university. He joined the MIT department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in 1998 and became full professor there in 2011.


Specialized Prize: Alternative Water Resources



Professor Mohamed Khayet Souhaimi
, University Complutense of Madrid, Spain.

For his work in pioneering and promoting membrane distillation for water recovery from alternative sources, such as concentrates from industrial production.

Mohamed Khayet Souhaimi is a professor in the Department of Applied Physics at the University Complutense of Madrid, Spain. His research interests include the modification and characterization of polymeric membranes for liquid and gas separations and their applications in ultrafiltration, nanofiltration, reverse osmosis, membrane distillation, and pervaporation.



Specialized Prize: Water Management & Protection



Professor Damia Barcelo
, Catalan Institute for Water Research, Spain.

For his work in understanding the effect of pharmaceuticals in the water environment, developing new methods for future risk assessment and management of emerging contaminants, and the investigation of water quality in intensively-used basins.

Damia Barcelo received his Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry in 1984 from the University of Barcelona, Spain. Since 1999, he has been a full Research Professor at the Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Studies (IDAEA-CSIC), Barcelona, Spain. Since May 2008, he has served as the Director of the Catalan Institute of Water Research (ICRA), Girona, Spain.


For details about nominations for the 6th Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water, please see:


Also of interest:

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