Dubai: Sheikh Mohammed honours 11 innovators who won $1 million for developing global water crisis solutions

The winners were from eight countries, including Honduras, India, the Philippines, the US, Kenya, Malaysia, China, and France

Follow us on Google News-khaleejtimes

Photo Courtesy: Twitter (@HHShkMohd)
Photo Courtesy: Twitter (@HHShkMohd)

A Staff Reporter

Published: Tue 10 Jan 2023, 8:01 PM

Last updated: Tue 10 Jan 2023, 9:05 PM

The 11 winners of the third Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Water Award on Tuesday met the UAE Vice-President, who praised their work on finding solutions to provide clean drinking water to needy communities across the world.

In a tweet, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, wished them the best in what he described as a "noble goal".

Sheikh Mohammed launched the award to encourage research centres, individuals, and innovators worldwide to develop sustainable and innovative solutions for water scarcity.

The UAE Water Aid Foundation (Suqia UAE), under the umbrella of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, oversees the recognition body. The winners were from eight countries, including Honduras, India, the Philippines, the US, Kenya, Malaysia, China, and France.

With the prize money totalling $1 million, the award is divided into four primary categories: Innovative Projects Award, Innovative R&D Award, Innovative Individual Award, and Innovative Crisis Solutions Award.

Here are the winners:

Innovative projects award (large projects):

Joint First: Agua Para el Pueblo (Honduras) for an electricity-free technology to remove turbidity from contaminated surface water sources.

Joint First: South Asian Forum for Environment (SAFE) (India) for a solar-powered reverse osmosis-based water-ATM.

Third: Alternative Indigenous Development Foundation Inc. (AIDFI) (Philippines) for a hydraulic invention that pumps water to communities living at a higher elevation.

Innovative Projects Award (small projects):

First: University of Illinois (USA) & Safe Water in partnership with Aids Project (Kenya) for a solar-powered drinking water ozonation project.

Second: Easy water for Everyone (USA) for an innovative project that repurposes hemodialysers to purify water for drinking, washing and cooking in remote villages.

Third: Membrane Filters (India) for a stand-alone solar-operated water filtration plant that removes inorganics from groundwater.

Innovative R&D Award – International Organisations:

First: University of Malaya (Malaysia) for a smart auto-backwash membrane system without chemicals.

Second: Sustainable Livelihood Initiative (India), for a sustainable water purifier providing clean water without any membranes, filters or external energy.

Third: Maithri Aquatech, in collaboration with Jain University (India), for a hybrid water solution that combines sustainable water generation and food preservation.

Innovative Individual Award – Innovative Researcher:

Professor Peng Wang (China) for three technologies to produce inexpensive, clean drinking water for small-to-medium-sized communities.

Innovative Crisis Solutions Award:

Mascara NT (France), for a preconnected containerised solar-powered desalination project that can be deployed in less than two hours.


13.6 million lives touched

Suqia UAE has received submissions from 56 countries for this edition of the water award, said Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, chairman of the foundation's Board of Trustees.

"We were pleased with the level of interest and participation in the award and the quality of innovations presented by companies, research centres, institutions, and innovators worldwide,” Al Tayer said.

The water aid foundation, he said, has positively impacted the lives of more than 13.6 million people in 37 countries.

"In this context, I commend the efforts of the Emirates Red Crescent, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment, Dubai Cares, and other organisations for implementing pioneering projects in cooperation with Suqia UAE, which has promoted the use of innovative and sustainable solutions in its projects to provide clean water,” added Al Tayer.

Global water crisis

According to the UN, one in three people globally does not have access to safe drinking water. Over two billion people live in countries where the water supply is inadequate. Water scarcity takes a more significant toll on women and children because they are often responsible for collecting it.

Women and girls spend long hours searching for water; in some countries, children walk several kilometres daily to get water. This entails difficulties and risks, wastes effort and time, and deprives them of access to quality education. Suqia UAE has played a pivotal role in working on sustainable development projects that provide clean water around the world.

More news from UAE