Two leading water innovators have been awarded the 2017 Water and Development Awards by the International Water Association (IWA). Working to deliver solutions to global water challenges, both have been recognised by the international water community for their outstanding contributions to the practice and science of water, which have improved the lives of millions of people in low- and middle-income nations.
Barbara Evans, Professor of Public Health Engineering at the University of Leeds, United Kingdom (U.K.), was awarded the IWA Water and Development Award (Research) 2017 for her efforts in increasing the understanding on community-wide approaches to tackling urban and rural water and sanitation challenges. Her research has played a key role in developing effective strategies for securing safe access to water and sanitation, with a sustained attention to poor urban and rural communities.
Marco Antonio Cevallos, Director EPMAPS, Ecuador, on the other hand, has shown how management vision can lead water utilities in emerging economies to deliver vastly improved services, even to the poorest in society. To that end, he was awarded the IWA Water and Development Award (Practice) 2017 for instigating a new service paradigm that places greater emphasis on community engagement, resource stewardship, and investment decisions that consider the social, economic, and environmental costs.
“The IWA Development Awards recognise excellence, leadership, and innovation in the water sector, and aim to encourage the continued contribution to the sustainable management of water in low- and middle-income countries,” Kalanithy Vairavamoorthy, Executive Director of the IWA, said. “Barbara Evans and Marco Antonio Cevallos have both made significant contributions to realising safe water and improved sanitation for millions of people.”
“I am delighted and honoured to accept this award. My work is dedicated to the 4.5 billion people worldwide who lack access to safely managed sanitation,” Evans said. “I am very excited to have the opportunity which this award brings to work with the IWA’s members, who play a vital role in WASH delivery service delivery, to further develop our understanding of how to deliver the SDG target 6.2 of universal access to safely managed sanitation.”
“I am honoured by this award, which only strengthens my commitment to improving water management for the people of Ecuador,” Cevallos added. “Throughout my life working in water management, I have found that my efforts would be nothing if not for the amazing people on my team. I share this award with them and look forward to continue reaching our goals together.”