The Water Man of India Wins 2015 Stockholm Water Prize

General Press Releases Friday March 20, 2015 14:30
STOCKHOLM--20 Mar--PRNewswire/InfoQuest

Rajendra Singh of India is named the 2015 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate, for his innovative water restoration efforts, improving water security in rural India, and for showing extraordinary courage and determination in his quest to improve the living conditions for those most in need.

Mr Singh, born 1959, lives and works in the Indian state of Rajasthan. The results of his work are without equal: in close cooperation with local residents, he and his organization have revived several rivers, brought water and life back to a thousand villages, and given hope to countless people.

On receiving news about the prize, Mr Singh said "this is very encouraging, energizing and inspiring news. Through the Indian wisdom of rainwater harvesting, we have made helpless, abandoned, destitute and impoverished villages prosperous and healthy again.

The Stockholm Water Prize Committee says that "today's water problems cannot be solved by science or technology alone. Rajendra Singh's life work has been in building social capacity to solve local water problems through participatory action, empowerment of women, linking indigenous know-how with modern scientific and technical approaches."

"Mr Singh is a beacon of hope," says Torgny Holmgren, SIWI's Executive Director. "He has literally brought villages back to life. We need to take Mr Singh's lessons and actions to heart if we are to achieve sustainable water use in our lifetime."

The methods used by Mr Singh are modernisations of ancient Indian ways of collecting and storing rainwater. The methods fell out of use during British colonial rule, but have now brought water back to India's driest state.

Climate change is changing weather patterns around the world, leading to more frequent and intense droughts and floods. Learning how to harvest rainwater, will be a key skill in most parts of the world.
"This work of ours is a way to solve both floods and droughts globally," says Rajendra Singh, adding that the impact is on local, national, international, and above all at the village level.
H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, Patron of the Stockholm Water Prize, will present the prize to Rajendra Singh at a Royal Award Ceremony during 2015 World Water Week in Stockholm on 26 August.
Note to Editors:
For more information about the Laureate, the Prize, and SIWI: http://www.siwi.org/swp2015
Source: Stockholm International Water Institute

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