Environmental Protection

Water monitoring projects have been conducted all over the world this week.

World Monitoring Day Is Occasion for Water Announcements

Stephen R. Carpenter wins Stockholm Water Prize; WEF and IWA name water champions; WaterSense and American Water partner on PSAs.

Stephen R. Carpenter, professor of zoology and limnology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will receive the 2011 Stockholm Water Prize. This announcement was made in connection with UN World Water Day.

Carpenter’s groundbreaking research has shown how lake ecosystems are affected by the surrounding landscape and by human activities. His findings have formed the basis for concrete solutions on how to manage lakes.

Stephen R. Carpenter. Image by Jeff Miller, University of Wisconsin Madison.

Born in 1952, Carpenter is recognized as one of the world’s most influential environmental scientists in the field of ecology. By combining theoretical models and large-scale lake experiments, he has reframed understanding of freshwater environments and how lake ecosystems are impacted by humans and the surrounding landscape.

The Stockholm Water Prize Nominating Committee emphasizes the importance of Carpenter’s contributions in helping us understand how we affect lakes through nutrient loading, fishing, and the introduction of exotic species.

“Professor Carpenter has shown outstanding leadership in setting the ecological research agenda, integrating it into a socio-ecological context, and in providing guidance for the management of aquatic resources,” the committee noted.

Carpenter is best known for his research on trophic cascades in lakes – a concept that describes how impacts on any species in an ecosystem will cascade down, or up, the food chain. Known among his peers in the scientific community for his creativity and enthusiasm, Carpenter’s work combines different scientific disciplines and approaches. By seeking collaboration outside of academia, he has managed to link research to both policy and practice.

On receiving the news, Carpenter said he will increase his resolve to work on emerging issues such as climate change and the connections of food and water security.

H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden will present the prize to Carpenter at a royal award ceremony during the World Water Week in Stockholm on Aug. 25. The Stockholm Water Prize is a global award presented annually by the Stockholm International Water Institute. The Stockholm Water Prize Laureate receives USD 150,000 and a crystal sculpture specially designed by Orrefors.

The Water Environment Federation (WEF) and the International Water Association (IWA) announced the winners of the second annual World Water Monitoring Day (WWMD) Awards. Today also marks the start of the program’s 2011 monitoring period that will run through Dec. 31, 2011.

Initiated last year, the awards program recognizes participants for outstanding achievement in boosting awareness of water quality issues. Featuring two types of awards — Water Champion: Making a Difference and WWMD Superlatives — the winners of the first type were chosen by a subcommittee of the WWMD regional panel of judges, which is composed of water industry professionals from around the world.

Water Champion awards recognize superior levels of relevance, educational effort, support, and innovation in the promotion of water quality through the WWMD program. The 2010 winners include:

    Africa ─ Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Group, Zimbabwe) and Neakoh Mengyi (Individual, Cameroon).
    Asia ─ SMK TELOI KANAN Nature Club (Group, Malaysia) and National Environmental Education and Research Foundation (Group Runner-up, India).
    Australia/Oceania ─ Seqwater/SEQ Water Grid (Group, Australia).
    Europe ─ Escola Secundária de Vilela (Group, Portugal) and Igor Prokofyev (Individual, Russia).
    North America ─ Cedarbrook Middle School (Group, United States) and Kathy Reynolds (Individual, United States)/
    South America ─ GTZ/PROAPAC (Group, Bolivia) and ENO Brazil (Group Runner-up, Brazil).

Award recipients will receive a commemorative plaque and WWMD materials of their choosing up to a value of US $1,000 for groups and US $750 for individuals and group runners-up. Items selected may include any combination of water monitoring equipment, relevant resources, or promotional materials. Winners of the WWMD Superlatives may be viewed on the program’s website.

Coordinated by WEF and IWA, WWMD is an international education and outreach program that builds public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources around the world. The annual program connects citizens with their local waterbodies through a series of simple, hands-on monitoring tests.

Officially observed each year on Sept. 18, more than 200,000 people on six continents participated in last year’s program. The program receives financial and in-kind support from the primary sponsors including the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, PerkinElmer, ITT Corporation, Sinclair Knight Merz, and Smithfield Foods.

To help educate Americans on the need to save water, EPA's WaterSense program joined its partner American Water, together with the Student Conservation Association, in promoting the Save Water Today public service campaign to highlight the critical issue of saving water for future generations.

The campaign is an integral component of American Water’s year-long consumer education campaign promoting water efficiency and source water protection to help mark the company’s 125th anniversary.

The public service announcement (PSA) campaign comprises a quartet of PSAs that bring together Saturday Night Live alumni Rachel Dratch and Horatio Sanz, Diane Neal (formerly of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit), and 16-year-old national surfing champion Lakey Peterson to promote household water conservation. In each 30-second announcement, the uninvited – but not entirely unwelcomed – celebrity appears in someone’s home to deliver practical, action tips to viewers.

To view the PSAs, visit www.savewatertoday.org.

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