October 17, 2015 Uncategorized

Water Innovators Scoop International Water Association’s 2015 Water and Development Awards

Water innovators scoop International Water Association’s 2015 Water and Development Awards

Mamadou Dia recognised for his critical work transforming the Senegalese water sector

Pay Drechsel recognised for his research on safe wastewater use in the rural-urban interface

The Hague, Netherlands (16.10.15) – Two leading water innovators have been awarded the 2015 Water and Development Award by the International Water Association. Working to deliver solutions to global water challenges, both have been recognised by the international water community for their outstanding contributions to the practice and science of water, which have improved the lives of millions of people in low- and middle-income countries.

Mamadou Dia has played a key role in transforming the water sector in Senegal to be a leader in Africa. Amongst his many notable achievements he is awarded the IWA Development Award for Practice for increasing access to water services, particularly amongst poor communities; improving the quality of water services; and contributing to work on the Human Right to Water and Sanitation.

Read more about the award here

Pay Drechsel’s research has played an important role in developing options for safe wastewater use in countries where treatment capacities are low, and informal wastewater use is a common feature of irrigated urban and peri-urban agriculture in support of urban food security. He has been awarded the IWA Development Award for Research for increasing our knowledge on low-cost safety options along the farm to fork pathway.

Read more about the award here

“These awards are granted in recognition for contributions to the science and practice of water, which have led to demonstrable impact in low and middle income countries,” said Dr. Ger Bergkamp, Executive Director of the International Water Association. “Mamadou and Pay are examples to the water community around the globe.”

As Managing Director of Senegalese water utility, Sénégalaise Des Eaux, Mamadou DIa has shown that innovation in water utilities, including private sector participation, in African countries can be a force for delivering vastly improved services, even to the poorest in society. Sénégalaise Des Eaux has developed pro-poor programs to ensure access to water. This was critical in ensuring Senegal is among the few African countries achieving the Millennium Development Goals for water.

“Receiving the IWA Award is recognition of all the efforts that have been made to prove that in Africa, despite the difficult environment, it is possible to have performing water companies that meet the expectations of customers and institutional partners”, said Mamadou Dia. “I share the Award with all water stakeholders in Senegal and in Africa, with whom we have developed synergies to make progress in order to improve the rate of access and the quality of water services.”

Aware of the constraints that low-income countries face, Pay Drechsel’s research has been geared towards locally appropriate solutions. During 11 years in West Africa, he comprehensively analysed the links between rural-urban food demands and the urban footprint. Given the high density of irrigating farmers in and around cities, he was particularly interested in the pollution of water bodies and options to mitigate the consequent food safety risks. His work has contributed to the formulation of numerous national and international laws, policies, frameworks and guidelines.

“This recognition is a fantastic acknowledgment of more than a decade of research,” said Drechsel. “I have been strongly supported in this by my dear colleagues, students and partners, as well as the International Water Management Institute which entrusted me with the task to conceptualize and coordinate our work on water quality, food safety and resource recovery”.

For further information please contact:

Paul Bell, International Water Association: Email paul.bell@iwahq.org, Tel. +31 (0) 6 4660 7771


Pay Drechsel is the research theme leader for Resource Recovery, Water Quality and Health at the International Water Management Institute. www.iwmi.org

Mamadou Dia is President of Aquafed and Director Water and Sanitation of Group Eranove. www.aquafed.org /www.eranove.com


Water underpins every aspect of human and environmental existence. The severe water challenges facing the world today require an unprecedented global response. IWA members and staff are situated in more than 140 countries worldwide, forming the large... Read full biography