Dubai sponsored international award to reward solutions for global water scarcity crisis.

The 3rd cycle of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Water Award has opened for registrations offering total funds of USD1 million for solutions to the challenges of water scarcity.

The biennial award is open to entries from individuals, research centers, institutions, and companies from across the world. There are 4 award categories:

  • Projects.
  • Individuals.
  • Research & Development.
  • Innovative Crisis Solutions Award.

HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai launched the USD1 million global award, to find sustainable solutions to water scarcity.

According to UN data, nearly half the global population lives in areas which experience water scarcity at least one month per year, and this could increase to some 4.8–5.7 billion in 2050, of which approximately 73% live in Asia.

USD1M Award
USD1M Award of UAE Water Aid

In the second cycle of the award, which took place in January 2020, ten applicants from eight different countries were awarded for innovations across 3 awards.

For the 3rd cycle, there has been an expansion of the scope of the awards to include new technologies which produce, distribute, store, monitor, desalinate and purify water using renewable energy, and the addition of a 4th award category entitled the ‘Innovative Crisis Solutions’ Award.

Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer

Established in 2015, the UAE Water Aid Foundation (Suqia UAE), is an entity under the umbrella of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives foundation, a non-profit organization that provides humanitarian aid around the world and helps communities that suffer from water scarcity by providing them with potable water.

The award supports Suqia UAE’s efforts, which, over the past five years, have helped over 13 million individuals in 36 countries through 1,000 sustainable water projects.

The award comprises 4 main categories that target pioneering organizations, research centers, individuals, educational institutions, and innovators from all around the world to motivate participants to come up with innovative, renewable energy powered solutions with the aim to either produce, distribute, store, monitor, desalinate and/or purify water.

The Innovative Project, Innovative Individual and Innovative Research & Development awards each have 2 subcategories. The newly introduced Innovative Crisis Solutions award carries a prize of US$ 20,000 and is allocated for small enterprises, research institutions and NGOs to innovate projects that can be deployed in emergencies.

Applications will be evaluated against a set of criteria relevant to the applied category in order to ensure fair and appropriate scoring of entries and selection of winners. For example, the newly created Crisis Solutions award will carry 30% for ease of deployment, 30% creativity and innovation, 30% for adaptability to the local environment, and 10% to cost-effectiveness.

Judging is undertaken by Suqia UAE under strict compliance with the criteria. In the 2nd cycle, Singapore company Liquinex Group won first place in the Innovative Research and Development award. The suitcase-like compact water purification system designed by Liquinex has the ability to provide high-quality World Health Organization standard drinking water at a rate of 500 L/hr, meaning it can benefit around 1,700 people at the rate of 3L/day/person/per suitcase, operating on very low 12V power.


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