The 10th Awards Ceremony of the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water (PSIPW) was held under the Patronage of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud on 13 December 2022 at the United Nations Office in Vienna, Vienna International Centre.
The Ceremony was supported by the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations in Vienna, the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations in New York and the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), with the virtual participation of H.E. Mr. Csaba Kőrösi, President of the United Nations General Assembly.
The Saudi Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture, H.E. Eng. Abdulrahman A. Al Fadley, addressed the event representing the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
Also addressing the event was the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the Federal Republic of Austria and Permanent Representative to the United Nations & other International Organizations in Vienna, HRH Prince Abdullah bin Khaled bin Sultan Al Saud.
PSIPW Council Chairman HE Dr. Badran A. Al Omar and the General Secretary of the Prize, Dr. Abdulmalek A. Al Alshaikh, spoke as well.
Mr. Niklas Hedman, Acting Director of UNOOSA, gave the closing remarks. He described the close relationship between PSIPW and UNOOSA by stating:
“We are proud to collaborate with the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water in contributing to international water-related efforts such as the Water Action Decade and the Global Acceleration Framework. Together we foster exchange of data, information and knowledge between the space and water sectors, with capacity building activities on the use of space-based data for a more sustainable management of water and aquatic ecosystems. Together, we contribute to innovation and improving water governance by connecting almost 90 stakeholders from various sectors and research disciplines, and moderating action-oriented dialogues from the local to the global level.”
PSIPW is a is a leading scientific award for innovation in water research. Established in 2002 as an international NGO, PSIPW offers a suite of five distinctive prizes every two years for work that addresses the problem of water scarcity in creative and effective ways.
First, there is the Creativity Prize, worth US$ 266,000, which is awarded for pioneering interdisciplinary work that can rightly be considered a breakthrough in any water-related field. Then there are four Specialized Prizes, each worth US$ 133,000, covering all aspects of water research.
The 10th Award prizewinners are leading international scientists with a diversity of backgrounds -- including materials science, chemistry, engineering, and environmental science, as well as hydrology. They won the five prizes for a wide variety of relevant, ground-breaking solutions that promise to help provide needed drinking water to the world's people. They are as follows:
Creativity Prize: The team of Thalappil Pradeep (Indian Institute of Technology, Madras)
His team developed environmentally friendly “water positive” nanoscale materials for the affordable, sustainable and rapid removal of arsenic from drinking water.
Team members include Avula Anil Kumar, Chennu Sudhakar, Sritama Mukherjee, Anshup, and Mohan Udhaya Sankar.
Creativity Prize: The team of Dionysios Dionysiou (University of Cincinnati, USA)
His team developed advanced oxidation technologies and nanotechnologies for environmental applications, particularly in the removal and monitoring of emerging contaminants.
Team members include Wael H.M. Abdelraheem, Abdulaziz Al-Anazi, Jiong Gao, Ying Huang, and Vasileia Vogiazi.
Surface Water Prize: Dennis Baldocchi (University of California, Berkeley, USA)
He was awarded for developing effective models to understand, evaluate and predict evapotranspiration and water-use efficiency in various environments under climate change conditions.
Groundwater Prize: Linda Abriola (Brown University, USA)
She was awarded for her pioneering research on toxic Dense Non-Aqueous Phase Liquids (DNAPLs’) in groundwater, ranging from the simulation of their fate to effective methods for cleaning contaminated sites.
Alternative Water-Resources Prize: The team of Menachem Elimelech (Yale University) and Chinedum Osuji (University of Pennsylvania)
They made significant advances in nanostructured materials for next-generation membranes and water purification technologies, with a particular focus on implementation, like manufacturing, sustainability, self-assembled materials, and biofouling.
Water Management & Protection Prize: The team of Matthew McCabe (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal, Saudi Arabia)
The team is awarded for employing CubeSat constellations in the sustainable management and security of linked water-food systems, culminating in the highest resolution estimates of agricultural water with global coverage at unprecedented spatial and temporal resolutions.
Team members include Bruno Aragon (KAUST) and Rasmus Houborg (Planet Labs, USA).
Nominations are currently open for the 11th Award (2024). Nominations can be made online for all five prizes directly through the PSIPW website: www.psipw.org
The PSIPW Awards Ceremony has been held in the United Nations Headquarters in New York since 2016. It was held in 2022 in Vienna for the first time. PSIPW has a long and rewarding cooperative relationship with the United Nations, particularly UNOOSA.