Many leading figures in the British water world braved record snowfalls to attend the ‘Prize Day’ which was held by PSIPW in cooperation with Imperial College in London on Wednesday, 6 January 2010.
Imperial College, the co-organizers of the event, boasts over 50 faculty members in its various faculties who are dedicated to water-related research and has more than 100 water-related grants and contracts. It has led the way for the development of water-related specialist training in the United Kingdom since the establishment of its postgraduate courses in water in 1955 and 1956.
The event brought together leading researchers from the UK, Saudi Arabia, and UNESCO to discuss a wide spectrum of water-related topics. The event also provided an opportunity for British water specialists to become better acquainted with the Prize and its activities, and included a series of lectures from distinguished international speakers, a discussion session, and a dinner.
The Prize film entitled Recognizing Innovation in Water-Related Fields was screened, followed by an introduction to the Prize by PSIPW General Secretary Dr. Abdulmalek A. Al Alshaikh. A DVD copy of the film and the invitation brochure for the Prize’s 4th Award were presented to each of the guests.
Two former winners of PSIPW’s Water Resources Management and Protection Prize – Professor Howard Wheater and Professor Patricia Gober – spoke at the event, highlighting the importance of the Prize and discussing their work in the field. Professor Wheater, the winner for 2006, is Professor of Hydrology at Imperial College and head of the Environmental and Water Resource Engineering Section of its Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. Professor Gober, the 2008 winner , is the Director of Arizona State University’s Decision Center for a Desert City (DCDC).
His Excellency, Dr. Mohammed Bin Ibrahim Al-Saud, Undersecretary for Water Affairs from the Saudi Ministry of Water and Electricity spoke as part of the high-level Saudi delegation, as well as His Excellency Mr. Fuhaid F. Al Sharif, the governor of the Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC).
Afterwards, they joined the Prize Council members in an intensive discussion session with their British colleagues. Discussion topics included current measures and future plans for water management, conservation, desalination and the alleviation of water scarcity in Saudi Arabia, and possible avenues for future cooperation between Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom.