Established in 2006, the Global Water Award recognises the successes of companies, technologies, projects, deals and plants in the international water industry. His Excellency Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, chairman of the board of trustees of the UAE Water Aid, shares the importance of acknowledging the achievements as well as his views on the solutions to address water scarcity.
What is the vision behind the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Water Award? And what is the impact you hope the Global Water Award will achieve?
Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer: The Mohammed bin Rashid Maktoum Global Water was launched by Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to help address the pressing global water scarcity problem. Under the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives Foundation, the UAE Water Aid Foundation (Suqia UAE) supervises the award that grants US$1 million in prizes to support research institutions, individuals, and innovators from around the world to develop and present the most cost-effective, innovative renewable-energy-driven solutions to water shortage. Specifically, it aims to meet the needs of urban and rural communities which lack access to clean drinking water.
As clean water sources dwindle, we need to look beyond the traditional solutions and encourage sustainable and resilient models to produce clean water. We believe that the award will become a platform to drive innovation in the water sector over the course of the coming cycles, and an enabler for promising technologies to move past the laboratory scale and onto the ground to better the lives of millions affected by the global water crisis.
What are some of the programmes and new initiatives you expect to see in the third cycle?
Al Tayer: The first two cycles of the Award were highly successful and recognised 20 winners who presented models that produced clean water using solar energy.
For the third cycle, we have expanded the scope of the award to include new technologies that produce, distribute, store, monitor, desalinate and purify water using renewable energy. We have also introduced a new category, the Innovative Crisis Solutions Award. Under this category, we honour innovations that can provide relief within the most critical 48 hours after internationally declared, emergencies, given that rapid access to safe drinking water is crucial for survival during crises and natural disasters.
The full article is published on the latest edition of Water & Wastewater Asia May/Jun 2021 issue. To continue reading the article, click here.