About the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water (PSIPW)

The Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water (PSIPW) is an international award with a focus on water-related innovation. It is judged by leading scientists from around the world. Five prizes are bestowed every two years. There are four specialised prizes dedicated to "Surface Water", "Groundwater", "Alternative Water Resources", and "Water Management & Protection". Then there is the "Creativity Prize" that is dedicated to awarding work carried out by multidisciplinary research teams.


The Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water (PSIPW) is a scientific prize with a focus on innovation. Established in 2002 by HRH Crown Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz, it rewards the efforts made by scientists, inventors and research organizations around the world which contribute to the sustainable availability of potable water and the alleviation of the escalating global problem of water scarcity.

To this end, PSIPW awards a suite of five prizes every two years, covering the entire water research landscape. In this way, PSIPW encourages research to find solutions to the various water-related challenges facing the world today.


On 21 October 2002, His Royal Highness Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz – Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General – announced in Riyadh that nominations were being accepted for a new global Prize to be awarded biannually: the "Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water".

The Prize Council, headed by His Royal Highness Prince Khalid Bin Sultan Bin Abdulaziz, includes leading scholars from around the world. The General Secretariat of the Prize is headquartered in the Prince Sultan Research Center for Environment, Water and Desert, at King Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

This internationally acclaimed scientific prize has proven to be one of Saudi Arabia's key contributions to water-related issues on a global scale, issues which represent some of the world's most pressing humanitarian, economic and political concerns. The Prize reflects the true image of a nation committed to the environment. It represents a call to the people of the world – a call for international responsibility.

Activities of PSIPW

1. PSIPW supports the research programs of the Prince Sultan Institute Environmental, Water and Desert Research at King Saud University, particularly those that relate to water issues. The most important of these programs is King Fahd’s Project for Rain and Floodwater Harvesting and Storage in the Kingdom, with which the Prize’s experts are directly involved.

2. PSIPW is a member of a number of leading international organizations, including the World Water Council. PSIPW also has special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). It was granted this status at ECOSOC’s Substantive Session of July 2013.

3. PSIPW and the United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) have a long-standing Memorandum of Understanding for collaborating on work of vital importance to support and foster the use of space technology for water resource management. Among their important projects is the Space4 Water Portal, which seeks to gather together the world's stakeholders in space and water for mutual cooperation, collaboration and the sharing of information.


4. In conjunction with the United Nations and various space agencies, PSIPW co-organizes the bi-annual International Conference on the Use of Space Technology for Water Management, which to date has been held in Riyadh, Buenos Aires, Rabat, Islamabad, and Ghana.

1st International Conference on the Use of Space Technology for Water Management

5. PSIPW is an observing member of the United Nations’ Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and participates in its meetings in Vienna.

6. In conjunction with King Saud University and the Saudi Ministry of Water and Electricity, PSIPW organizes ICWRAE - the International Conference on Water Resources and Arid Environments, held concurrently with the Prize’s awards ceremony. This bi-annual conference addresses four main themes: water resources, water conservation, arid environments, and the utilisation of new technologies. The Conference also hosts workshops and seminars on the ministerial level.

ICWRAE Opening Ceremony in Riyadh, December 2010

7.PSIPW provides financing and support for the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize’s Chair for Water Research located at King Saud University. The Chair, in turn, supports a number of graduate students of various nationalities engaged in a program of research into rain and floodwater harvesting, for which these students are awarded their Masters and Doctorate degrees. The Chair is supervised by an international panel of distinguished scholars from within and outside of Saudi Arabia.

7. PSIPW is a member of the World Water Council and the Arab Water Council. PSIPW serves on the Arab Water Council’s Board of Governors, and as such actively participates in all of the Council’s meetings and conferences. It also provides support for some of the Arab Water Council’s activities.

9. In order to support ongoing research at every level, in 2017 PSIPW established the Prince Sultan Water Specialist Event Participation Grant which enables the participation of world-leading water scientists at conferences and as leaders of workshops and courses. It also enables distinguished water scientists from the developing world, and young researchers from all over the world, to attend conferences, seminars, workshops, and specialised courses.


10. PSIPW sponsors a number of international conferences and exhibitions around the world, sponsoring at least 10 to 15 different conferences and exhibitions during each round of the Prize.

IDA Congress - Canary Islands, Spain 2007

Exhibition in Burmingham, UK

Prize Day in Singapore

Prize day in Singapore

Prize Day in Delft - The Netherlands

Prize Day in Delft - The Netherlands

Prize Day in Amman, Jordan