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Nominations for Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize 2024
launched at UN 2023 Water Conference

24 March 2023, SINGAPORE – The Singapore International Water Week today launched a call for nominations for the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize (LKYWP) 2024 – a prestigious international award that honours outstanding contributions by individuals or organisations towards solving the world’s water challenges by developing or applying innovative technologies, policies or programmes which benefit humanity.

2    Singapore’s Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu announced the opening of nominations for the LKYWP 2024 in a speech delivered at a side event hosted by Singapore during the UN 2023 Water Conference in New York. The Singapore event – “Water, Technology and Sustainable Development” – was well attended by international leaders in the water sector who shared best practices in leveraging technology for sustainable water management. The leaders also shared how the international community can work collectively to catalyse innovation for a water-resilient future, in support of Sustainable Development Goal 6.

3    The LKYWP is named after Singapore’s founding Prime Minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew, whose foresight and leadership have enabled Singapore to attain a sustainable water supply despite being a highly urbanised city-state with little natural water resources. Since its inception in 2008, the Prize, which is sponsored by Temasek Foundation, has gained a strong standing in the global water community for its recognition of innovative water technologies, policies or programmes that have been game-changers in their real-world application.

4    The honour roll for the Prize includes Laureates who have developed ground-breaking solutions in membrane technology and used water treatment, as well as holistic water policies and management practices, that have benefitted the lives of millions. Their achievements represent the pinnacle in sustainable water solutions that have made a difference to cities and people around the world.

5    The LKYWP 2024 Laureate will be announced next year, on World Water Day, on 22 March 2024. The Laureate will receive S$300,000, a gold medallion and a certificate, at an award ceremony during the 10th Singapore International Water Week, to be held from 18 to 22 June 2024 in Singapore.

Nomination process

6    Leaders of international water companies and water utilities, top academics in water research, policy and/or management, heads of international organisations, members of government, or distinguished individuals in the field of water are welcome to submit nominations of suitable candidates for the LKYWP 2024. This can be done online by uploading a citation of the nominee's achievements at https://go.gov.sg/lkywp2024nomination. Nominations for the LKYWP 2024 are open from 24 March 2023 to 30 June 2023.

7    Shortlisted nominees will be notified to submit supporting documents for more detailed evaluations by the Water Prize Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee will thoroughly evaluate all shortlisted nominations and make their recommendations to the Water Prize Council, who will then decide on the LKYWP 2024 Laureate. For more information, visit https://www.siww.com.sg/landing-page/nomination-guidelines or email leekuanyewwaterprize@siww.com.sg.


For media queries, please contact:

Fulvia Wong
PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency
Tel: 97723716
Lynn Hong
PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency
Tel: 97640438

About Singapore International Water Week
Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) is a global premier platform to share and co-create innovative water solutions to meet urban water challenges. As one of the leading global water events, the biennial SIWW delivers a range of flagship programmes and platforms that gathers stakeholders from governments, utilities, academia, and industry to share best practices and solutions, showcase the latest technologies and harness business opportunities. The 10th Singapore International Water Week will be held from 18 to 22 June 2024.

To find out more:
Visit our website at www.siww.com.sg

About PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency
PUB is a statutory board under the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment (MSE). It is the national water agency, which manages Singapore’s water supply, water catchment, and used water in an integrated way. From April 2020, PUB also took on the responsibility of protecting Singapore’s coastline from sea-level rise as the national coastal protection agency.

PUB has ensured a diversified and sustainable supply of water for Singapore with the Four National Taps (local catchment water, imported water, NEWater, desalinated water). PUB leads and coordinates whole-of-government efforts to protect Singapore from the threat of rising seas and the holistic management of inland and coastal flood risks.

PUB calls on everyone to play a part in conserving water, in keeping our waterways clean, and in caring for Singapore’s precious water resources. If we all do our little bit, there will be enough water for all our needs – for commerce and industry, for living, for life.

Find out more about us:
Subscribe to our channel at www.youtube.com/sgPUB

About The Prize Sponsor – Temasek Foundation
Temasek Foundation supports a diverse range of programmes that uplift lives and communities in Singapore and beyond. Temasek Foundation’s programmes are made possible through philanthropic endowments gifted by Temasek, as well as gifts and other contributions from other donors. These programmes strive towards achieving positive outcomes for individuals and communities now, and for generations to come. Collectively, Temasek Foundation’s programmes strengthen social resilience, foster international exchange and regional capabilities, advance science, and protect the planet.

For more information, visit: www.temasekfoundation.org.sg

Annex A – Information on Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize Laureates (2008-2020)

Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize 2020 Laureate – Prof Kazuo Yamamoto

Professor Kazuo Yamamoto was awarded the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize for 2020 for his pioneering work in developing the submerged membrane bioreactor (MBR). His successful demonstration, in 1989, of the first operational submerged MBR was a major breakthrough in the field of wastewater treatment. And since then, the global application of submerged MBR technology has fundamentally transformed the sewage treatment process and improved the lives of hundreds of millions of people.

Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize 2018 Laureate – Prof Rita Colwell

Professor Rita Colwell was awarded the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize 2018 for her pioneering insights into microbial water quality surveillance, and her pivotal contributions in translating these insights into concrete practices and policies to better manage waterborne diseases and protect public health.

Her breakthrough discovery of the “viable but non-culturable” (VBNC) phenomenon showed that bacteria can exist in a state in which they are alive and can cause harm even though they cannot be cultured. The VBNC phenomenon has now been shown to exist in more than 50 species of bacteria, including many pathogens.

Building upon this discovery, Professor Colwell was an early and active proponent of the use of novel molecular methods for more accurate and comprehensive diagnostics of water pathogens.

Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize 2016 Laureate – Prof John Anthony Cherry

Professor John Anthony Cherry was awarded the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize 2016 for his contributions to the advancement of groundwater science, policies, and technologies. His revolutionary research in collaboration with international partners has provided the global groundwater community with a better scientific framework to formulate policies and best practices.

Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize 2014 Laureate – Orange County Water District

Orange County Water District (OCWD) was awarded the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize 2014. The impact of their successful water reuse programme extends far beyond the county to the states of Texas and Colorado in the United States, and has also been replicated in countries such as Australia, Singapore to achieve water sustainability through water reuse, benefitting millions in the process.

Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize 2012 Laureate – Prof Mark van Loosdrecht

Professor Mark Van Loosdrecht was awarded the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize 2012 for his breakthrough contributions in used water treatment, with his completely autotrophic nitrogen removal process – Anammox. Professor Van Loosdrecht introduced a paradigm shift in the understanding of the used water treatment process. His ground-breaking work in marrying nature and engineering has formed the basis for many variants in use today.

Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize 2011 Laureate – Dr James Barnard

Dr James Barnard was awarded the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize 2011 for inventing a biological method to treat used water so that it can be returned safely to lakes and rivers. His technology, Biological Nutrient Removal (BNR), uses naturally-occurring micro-organisms instead of conventional chemicals to remove nitrogen and phosphorous from used water.

Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize 2010 – Yellow River Conservancy Commission

Yellow River Conservancy Commission (YRCC) was awarded the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize 2010 for its outstanding accomplishments in integrated basin management that was unrivalled in scale. YRCC had secured water supply for over one hundred million people, restored extensive areas of wetlands and biodiversity, and protected some 90 million people living in the flood-prone areas.

Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize 2009 – Prof Gatze Lettinga

Professor Gatze Lettinga was awarded the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize 2009 for this breakthrough, environmentally sustainable solution for the treatment of used water using anaerobic technology His revolutionary treatment concept enables industrial used water to be purified cost-effectively, and produces renewable energy, fertilisers and soil conditioners.

Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize 2008 – Dr Andrew Benedek

Dr Andrew Benedek was awarded the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize 2008 for his outstanding work in pioneering the development of low-pressure membranes in water treatment. He showed how drinking water can be produced from different water sources, even those that are highly polluted.

Annex B – Nomination Guidelines and Evaluation Process

Nomination Guidelines

1    The Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize honours outstanding contributions by individuals or organisations towards solving the world's water problems by developing or applying innovative technologies, policies or programmes which benefit humanity.

Nomination Process

2    A valid nominee for the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize should have made outstanding achievements in any water-related field. The work should have demonstrated the innovativeness of technologies, policies or programmes. The work should have proven impact or demonstrated great potential to be a game-changer in the future.

3    The submission of nominations for Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize 2024 follows a rigorous two-stage process. The first stage is for the nominator to submit a citation of the nominee. Self-nominations and nominations by family members of nominees will not be accepted. Self-nomination includes nomination made by an individual from the same organisation as the nominee. In the second stage, nominators of shortlisted nominees will be informed to submit a full nomination, including a detailed write-up of the cited technological innovation and/or the implemented water policy and programme, recommendation letters and additional supporting documents.

Selection Process

4    All nominations will be examined by the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize Nominating Committee. The Committee will make their recommendations to the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize Council, which will make the final selection of the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize Laureate. Both panels consist of prominent thought leaders, distinguished academics and water experts from the public and private sectors. All received nominations will be evaluated on the following criteria:

a. Role of nominee
The nominator should describe the role of the nominee in the development and implementation of the specific technologies, policies or programmes that underpin the nomination. In particular, the leadership of the nominee as well as the nominee's instrumental contributions should be highlighted.

b. Innovativeness and merits of the technologies, policies or programmes
The innovativeness and benefits of the referenced technologies, policies and programmes should be described in detail. Nominators are encouraged to include comparisons with the state-of-the-art technologies or existing policies and programmes, and depict how the nominee's work has been proven to be a game changer or shown great potential to do so.

c. Impact on humanity
The current level of readiness and scale of implementation of the referenced technologies, policies and programmes should be described. Nominators should quantify the impact of nominee's work in benefitting humanity, or project any long-term benefits in cases where the level of readiness and scale of the implementation is currently low.

Call for Nominations

5    The first stage of nomination is open. All submissions should be completed by 30 June 2023, Friday, 6pm (+8 GMT) through the online portal: https://go.gov.sg/lkywp2024nomination

Contact Information

6    For enquiries or more information on the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize, please contact:

Singapore International Water Week
Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize Secretariat
40 Scotts Road, #22-01, Environment Building
Singapore 228231