IN 2004, FIVE WATER RESOURCES research projects will each be awarded prizes worth 500,000 Saudi riyals (about US$130,000) as part of the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Prize for Water (2002-4). Nominations for the prize close at the end of October 2003.

The idea for the prize originated from the Prince Sultan Research Centre for Environment, Water & Desert in Saudi Arabia, and the prize has received the patronage of Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz. The prince, who is the Kingdom’s 2nd Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defence & Aviation, and Inspector General, takes a special interest in the environment in general and water in particular. For this reason, he lent his support to the establishment of the prize, which was launched in October 2002.

The aim of the prize is to reward the efforts of innovative scientists, academics and organisations carrying out applied research in the water resources sector worldwide. It seeks to acknowledge special achievements that have led to the development of scientific solutions for problems associated with provision, protection and preservation of adequate and sustainable water resources, particularly in arid regions.

The prize will be awarded every two years in each of five branches, for which topics have been assigned to focus research efforts. The branches of the prize encompass intellectual as well as material achievements that have increased human awareness and ability to control water resources.

The five branches for the prize, with this first award’s set topics, are: • Surface water; effective flood control methods.

• Ground water; artificial ground water recharge.

• Alternative (non-traditional) water resources; economical technologies for sea water desalination.

• Water resources management; effective new techniques for irrigation water conservation.

• Protection of water resources; protection of ground water from agricultural pollutants.

An international selection committee will advise the Prize Council, headed by Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz, on the nominations, which must be received by 30 October 2003, and the winners will be announced in May/June 2004. An award ceremony will be held in October 2004, at which time the next award (2004-6) will be launched.

The Secretary General of the Prize Secretariat, Dr Abdulmalik A Al Alshaikh, has been extremely active in the last six months promoting the prize at many international events in the water sector. He has addressed the 3rd World Water Forum in Japan, as well as conferences and exhibitions in Egypt, France, Dubai, the Canary Islands and Australia. In the coming months, he will be speaking at the American Water Works Association annual conference in California, the International Water Resources Association conference in New York, the International Hydraulic Engineering & Research biennial conference in Greece and the International Desalination Association biennial congress in the Bahamas.

Dr Alshaikh is director of the Prince Sultan Research Center for Environment, Water & Desert at King Saud University, which provides the headquarters for the secretariat. A brochure on the prize, including nomination forms, may be obtained from the secretariat at: Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water, General Secretariat, Sultan Research Center for Environment, Water & Desert, King Saud University, PO Box 2454, Riyadh 11451, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Tel: +966-1-4675571. Fax: +966-1-4675574. Email: Online information and documents may be obtained from the Prize website: