Leeds professor and Quito water company director win international water awards

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Leeds professor and Quito water company director win international water awards
Marco Antonio Cevallos and Barbara Evans receive their awards from IWA Executive Director Kala Vairavamoorthy (centre)

The International Water Association (IWA) has announced Professor Barbara Evans from the University of Leeds as the winner of the 2017 IWA Water and Development Award for Research, and Quito water company director, Marco Antonio Cevallos, as the Water and Development Award winner for Practice.

Working to deliver solutions to global water challenges, both leading water innovators 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.

Barbara Evans is Professor of Public Health Engineering at the University of Leeds. Her research has played a key role in developing effective strategies for securing safe access to water and sanitation, with a sustained attention to poor urban and rural communities. She explained: “My work is dedicated to the 4.5 billion people worldwide who lack access to safely managed sanitation.”

Professor Evans has been awarded the IWA Award for increasing understanding on community-wide approaches to tackle urban and rural water and sanitation challenges. On receiving her award she said: “I am very excited to have the opportunity which this award brings to work with the IWA’s members, who play a vital role in Water Sanitation and Hygiene service delivery, to further develop our understanding of how to deliver the sustainable development goals target 6.2 of universal access to safely managed sanitation.”

Director of EPMAPS, the water company for Quito in Ecuador, award winner for practice Marco Antonio Cevallos has shown how management vision can lead water utilities in emerging economies to deliver vastly improved services, even to the poorest in society. Mr Cevallos has played a key role in modernising and improving services and infrastructure in Quito, going beyond regional service standards to guarantee service availability and reliability, and achieving financial sustainability with due attention to social equity. His work has paid special attention to the urban poor and to rural populations in river basins whose livelihoods depend on managing natural resource properly.

The awards were presented this week (13 November 2017) at the IWA Water and Development Congress & Exhibition in Buenos Aires.

IWA Executive Director, Kalanithy Vairavamoorthy, said: “Barbara Evans and Marco Antonio Cevallos have both made significant contributions to realising safe water and improved sanitation for millions of people.”

The IWA Development Award is awarded by a panel of experts, and recognises outstanding contributions to research or practice that has led to demonstrable impact in low- and middle-income countries. It is awarded every two years at the IWA Water and Development Congress & Exhibition