SA-born researcher wins top water prize

2014-03-21 17:31

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Stockholm - South African-born researcher John Briscoe was Friday named the winner of the 2014 Stockholm Water Prize for his contributions to better water management.

The jury of the $150 000 award chose Briscoe for his ability to combine science, policy and practice in a career that has ranged from working with water supply schemes to developing national and global water policies.

The 66-year-old said his interest in water was influenced by growing up in a water-scarce area of South Africa, where he studied civil engineering at the University of Cape Town.

In the mid-1970s he lived in a village in Bangladesh, where he learned how the lives of the poor could be changed by building protections from floods and droughts.

Briscoe has lived and worked in several countries, including Bangladesh, Mozambique, India and Brazil.

He has worked for national governments and the World Bank.

Developing infrastructure and institutions is part of the response to the challenge of "the extremes of droughts and floods", he said in remarks to the award organiser's website.

Briscoe currently lives in the United States, where he is a professor at Harvard University.

Swedish King Carl Gustaf is due to present the award in September at a ceremony in Stockholm as part of World Water Week.

Read more on:    water

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