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Excellence recognised at IWA Water Development Awards 2023

This year’s recipients were Veena Srinivasan and Doulaye Kone. (Image source: IWA)

In the opening ceremony of the IWA Water and Development Congress & Exhibition in held in Kigali, Rwanda, the winners of the IWA Water and Development Awards 2023 were announced

The awards, which took place on 10 December, are a celebration of excellence, innovation and leadership within the water industry and are judged by a diverse panel of experts. With a view of encouraging sustainable management in low- and middle-income countries, they are given to those who have contributed to research or practice that has had a demonstrable impact in the sector. 

This year’s recipients were Veena Srinivasan and Doulaye Kone. 

Srinivasan, a water expert with 20 years of experience, specialises in inter-sectoral water allocation, impacts of multiple stressors on water resources, and sustainable water management policy and practice. She claimed the IWA Water and Development Award for Research with the judges paying particular attention to her bravery and passion to follow an emerging knowledge path in socio-hydrology as well as through advocacy for research and the establishment of WELL Labs in Bengaluru, India. 

“Being nominated for this award is such an honour and I’m very grateful,” remarked Srinivasan. “I am proud that my work has been recognised for laying the foundations of socio-hydrology as a discipline. My focus on analysing data and triangulation across datasets represents a significant departure from traditional water resources management methods and has raised awareness on what kind of science is needed to solve India’s water crisis.”

Receiving the award for Practice was Kone, a supporter of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s efforts to provide access to safe sanitation. The judges indicated that his career was instrumental in kicking off a shift across the water and sanitation sector and that his vision had catalysed technological innovations in non-sewered sanitation through the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge. This encouraged ways of approaching the sustainability of faecal sludge management at scale. 

Doulaye remarked, “I convinced the Gates Foundation to initiate the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge to generate innovative solutions that can protect against human waste-borne pathogens and deliver a truly 21st-century inclusive sanitation solution that reaches the poorest communities. This type of climate-resilient sanitation innovation, when combined with proper infrastructure and national action, will enhance public health, foster better gender equality outcomes, and reduce communities’ dependence on water amidst a changing world.”

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