The Zuckerberg Water Prize
offers a biannual award of $60,000
The Zuckerberg Water Prize offers a biannual award of $60,000
To acknowledge outstanding achievements and global impact of an
individual or organization in the broader field of Water.
Nominations for the next round of 2024 are expected to open by September 2023.
Meet the 2022 Laureate
It is our pleasure to name Professor Ashok Gadgil the recipient of the 2022 Zuckerberg Water Prize for his outstanding leadership, vision, innovation, and lasting global impact in the field of Water.
Prof. Gadgil holds the Distinguished Chair Professorship of Safe Water and Sanitation in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of California, Berkeley.
Prof. Gadgil is among the foremost pioneers of the engineering-development nexus. Throughout his career, he has been a true visionary and leader in the field of water, having laid the foundation for the field of Development Engineering and serving as one of its most influential researchers ever since.
For the past three decades, Prof. Gadgil has been identifying water challenges posing a wide range of adverse health and other human impacts, inventing robust, inclusive and affordable engineering technologies, and implementing them at scale to serve human health and development in remote, developing, and resource-poor areas globally.
In particular, Prof. Gadgil has trail-blazed utilizing multiple technologies to treat different water contaminants and developed these into viable, cost-efficient, patented, licensed, and globally deployed systems.
Among his developments are a system using ultraviolent light to disinfect water now deployed in five countries; an effective and affordable technology for removing arsenic from groundwater piloted in India and slated for field testing in California; a low-cost effective fluoride treatment technology using lightly treated mineral bauxite as an adsorbent, scheduled for field testing; effective and highly cost-efficient electrocoagulation of lead pipes to curb leaching of the deadly heavy metal; and, most recently, a newly developed method for removing chromate from contaminated groundwater.
With a holistic approach, Prof. Gadgil’s leadership spans the entire water ecosystem, bridging a critical gap between academic research, engineering, technology, policy-making and human development with innovation dedicated to achieving real-world impact. Among others, his founding and co-stewardship of the open-access journal “Development Engineering” reflects this holistic vision to ensure that new knowledge is cross-cutting, accessible, and benefits all stakeholders – not least of whom are young scientists in developing countries. His intellectual breadth and commitment are also reflected in his serving for the past 14 years as the Co-Editor in Chief of the prestigious (and now Open Access) non-profit journal Annual Reviews of Environment and Resources.
Through his inspirational research, work, publications, teaching, and mentoring, Prof. Gadgil has been a career-long champion of Sustainable Development Goal 6: Access to Safe Drinking Water for All, long before the formation of the SDGs. The R&D 100 Award, the Prince Sultan Abdulaziz International Prize for Water, and the Lemelson-MIT Award for Global Innovation represent but a few of the awards he has received, as well as being recognized by NASA and USAID as One of the Top 10 Global Innovators for Water Technologies.
It is for all this and more that we are delighted to name Prof. Ashok Gadgil as the recipient of the 2022 Zuckerberg Water Prize.
More information on Prof. Gadgil’s work and research can be found here.
About The Zuckerberg Water Prize
This legacy award is granted through the generous donation of Mr. Roy Zuckerberg – General Partner, Executive Committee member and Senior Director at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and former Vice Chairman of the firm. He also serves as Trustee of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and is a member of its Executive Committee.
Mr. Zuckerberg is Honorary Chairman of the Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research (ZIWR), which leads interdisciplinary, cutting-edge research and advanced education in water sciences, aimed at improving human well-being in drylands through technologies and policies for sustainable use of water resources. Mr. Zuckerberg is a past long-serving Chairman of the Board of Governors of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel and holds an honorary doctoral degree from the same university.
A distinguished investment banker and philanthropist, Mr. Zuckerberg is a lifelong champion of education, health and human services. The Zuckerberg Water Prize reflects the spirit of this ongoing commitment.
The award ceremony will take place during the biannual International Water Summit where the recipient will deliver a plenary talk in their field of expertise and attend the full program. To further grow the reach, equity and impact of this award, recipients are encouraged to donate $5,000 of the prize money to a water-related cause of their choice
The Zuckerberg Water Prize is an international award and welcomes nomination of candidates researching, developing or implementing impactful and lasting water knowledge, solutions, management and policies all over the world. Nominations for the next round of 2024 are expected to open by September 2023.
Nominated candidates are evaluated on the following criteria:
Nominations will be evaluated by a panel of leading international experts comprising the Executive Committee of the Zuckerberg Water Prize.
Members of the Executive Committee are foremost leaders in their fields and represent different disciplines, approaches, institutions and organizations within the global field of Water.