Rajendra Singh of India on Friday was awarded the 2015
Stockholm Water Prize, "for his innovative water restoration efforts and for
"improving water security in rural India."
Singh was commended by the
award committee for "showing extraordinary courage and determination in his
quest to improve the living conditions for those most in need."
1959, Singh -- known as the "water man of India" -- lived and worked in the arid
Indian state of Rajasthan, where he for several decades dedicated himself to
defeating drought and empowering communities.
"Singh's life work has
been in building social capacity to solve local water problems through
participatory action, empowerment of women, linking indigenous know-how with
modern scientific and technical approaches and upending traditional patterns of
development, resource use, and social norms," the award committee said in a
Singh, on receiving the news about the prize, said: "This is
very encouraging, energizing and inspiring. Through the Indian wisdom of
rainwater harvesting, we have made helpless, abandoned, destitute and
impoverished villages prosperous and healthy again."
executive director of the Stockholm International Water Institute, said: "In a
world where demand for freshwater is booming, where we will face a severe water
crisis within decades if we do not learn how to better take care of our water,
Singh is a beacon of hope."
"He has brought villages back to life. We
need to take Singh's lessons and actions to heart if we are to achieve
sustainable water use in our lifetime," he added.
The Stockholm Water Prize,
presented annually since 1991, is considered the world's most prestigious award
in water-related science. It honors individuals and organizations deemed to have
done to the most to conserve and protect the earth's water resources. (Xinhua