22 March, 2012
The International Water Management Institute (IWMI), which has offices in New Delhi, Hyderabad and Anand, has been named the Stockholm Water Prize Laureate for 2012. Awarded by the Stockholm International Water Institute, this prestigious prize honors individuals, institutions or organizations whose work contributes broadly to the conservation and protection of water resources and to the improved health of the planet´s inhabitants and ecosystems. IWMI is the first international research institution to have received this accolade.
“We are delighted that the hard work of everyone at IWMI has been recognized in this way,” said Colin Chartres, Director General of the Institute. “This is unquestionably the single most important international award in the water sector. To have won it, is outstanding and a testament to the professionalism and dedication of everyone at IWMI, past and present, and the many partners we have worked alongside.”
IWMI was founded in 1985 as an irrigation research institute and later expanded its activities to explore more broadly how the needs of various water users could be met to help alleviate poverty, protect the environment and improve food security. IWMI currently employs over 300 staff and has regional offices in 10 countries. In India, the Institute has worked actively since 2002 with many partners in the water and agriculture sectors to address such pressing issues as groundwater governance and management, strategic analysis of the national river-linking project, improving water productivity in the major river basins, realizing the potential of rainfed agriculture and agricultural water management solutions for smallholder farmers. Some key achievements in the region have included resolving the groundwater-energy nexus in the water-stressed regions, managed aquifer recharge, guidelines for safe use of wastewater, policies for adoption of micro-irrigation, environmental flow estimation and revitalizing irrigation systems. “Our work in India is a great example of why IWMI has been recognized in this way,” said Bharat Sharma, Head of the New Delhi office. “We are especially proud of the numerous researchers who have worked directly with us and gone on to develop their careers in water management and policy. This investment in local talent is one of IWMI’s most valuable contributions to water management in India”
The Stockholm award committee praised IWMI’s work as having led to ‘new policies and investments in agriculture that have not only enabled more productive use of water, but have enhanced food security, economic development and environmental health around the world.’
Welcoming the award, Dr. S. Ayyappan, Secretary, DARE and Director General, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) said, “I heartily congratulate the Board of Governors and staff members of IWMI for this well-deserved accolade. India is proud to be the host to a leading global institution like IWMI, and it clearly demonstrates that our scientists, in partnership with their international colleagues, are at the cutting edge of new thinking on water management.”
The prize will be presented to Dr. Chartres during World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden, in August, 2012.
The announcement of the award comes on World Water Day (March 22), which is also the launch date for a new global campaign to bring people together to develop water solutions that create jobs, grow more food, keep us healthy and protect nature (see www.RipplesOnWater.org). The ‘Ripples on Water’campaign will be launched in Sri Lanka through a unique coming together of art, science and development with a laser and water dance spectacular.