Expert on water re-use wins international environment award

A Japanese-born water engineer has won the US$150,000, 2001 Stockholm Water Prize for his outstanding contributions to the efficient use of water through wastewater reuse, recycling and reclamation.

Professor Takashi Asano, Adjunct Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California Davis (UCD) has been the world’s foremost expert on the safe and beneficial use of recycled water for the last 20 years, according to the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI).

Professor Asano moved to the United States in 1963, and throughout the late 1970s and the 1980s, spearheaded basic water reuse research at the California State Water Resources Control Board. His research contributed to the California Water Recycling Criteria, which has formed the basis for most international projects and decrees within wastewater recycling, reclamation and reuse. More recently, Professor Asano has evaluated the safe use of reclaimed water through microbial risk assessment in water reuse.

Asano has promoted the field of water reuse around the world, expanding and adapting his research for both developed and developing countries. He has also contributed significantly to solutions of water scarcity problems in developing countries, advising on the safe use of wastewater resources. He has promoted the education of young water scientists and engineers, has written more than 50 articles and books, and initiated the formation of the International Association on Water Quality’s Specialist Group on Wastewater Reclamation, Recycling and Reuse in 1987.

“Water reuse is an innovation that holds promise for easing the world’s lack of safe water,” said Joe Stowe Jr President of the Water Environment Federation. “The Federation believes that it is only through scientific knowledge and innovation that the world will find a solution to the water crisis. As one of the founding organisations of the Stockholm Water Prize, we recognise and honour high achievement in the water field because we realise how vital this research and leadership is.”

HM King Carl XVI of Sweden will present the prize to Asano on 16 August this year at a ceremony in Stockholm during World Water Week. The prize, which is awarded for outstanding research, action or education aimed at protecting water as a resource, was founded in 1990, and is presented annually to an organisation or individual that has made a substantial contribution to the preservation or enhancement of the world’s water resources. The founders of the prize also include Anglian Water, Bacardi Limited, DuPont, General Motors, and Fujitsu Siemens Computers.

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