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Educate. Empower. Act. The mission of Project WET is to reach children, parents, educators and communities of the world with water education. We invite you to join us in educating children about the most precious resource on the planet — water.
The Project WET Water Education Visionary Award is Project WET's highest honor. Only two Water Visionary Awards have been given to date, one at the 6th World Water Forum in Marseille, France; and one at the 4th World Water Forum in Mexico City, Mexico. The award itself is a sculpture commissioned by Valerie Gates, a long-time Project WET supporter. The inspiring sculpture is a flowing design that conveys both the endless movement of water and its enduring importance.
“I wanted to commission a piece of art that Project WET could use to represent the essence of its work– the eternal movement of water connecting and sustaining all life,” said Gates. “The sculptor, Rik Sargent, and I have worked on a variety of projects, and he is gifted at translating words and ideas into physical form.”
This sculpture represents Project WET and its mission of water education, depicted through the tonality and elegant shape of the structure. From any angle, the water drop is apparent, and the graceful curves and open spaces convey the connection between teacher and learner, water user and water educator, the future and the past.
A distinguished scholar, professor and internationally recognized water expert, András Szöllösi-Nagy is only the second recipient of the Project WET Foundation's highest honor, the Water Visionary Award. The award was presented to Dr. Szöllösi-Nagy at the Celebrating Solutions Through Water Education reception held at the 6th World Water Forum in Marseille, France.
A native of Hungary, Dr. Szöllösi-Nagy earned a Ph.D. in hydrology from the Budapest University of Technology and was awarded a Doctor of Science (D.Sc.) degree by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. He has taught and conducted research all over the world, including in Austria, Sweden, Thailand, Russia, Canada and the Netherlands.
A consultant to the UN since the 1980s, Dr. Szöllösi-Nagy joined UNESCO in Paris in 1989 as Director of the Division of Water Sciences and Secretary of the International Hydrological Programme. He became the Rector of the UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education in Delft in 2009.
Dr. Szöllösi-Nagy is the recipient of numerous other global awards and honors in the international water sector, including the Distinguished Associate Award of the International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH) in 2005 and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation Award in the field of water.
At the 4th World Water Forum, held in Mexico City in March of 2006, Project WET presented the first Project WET Water Education Visionary Award to Dr. Alvaro Aldama, then director of the Mexican Institute for Water Technology (IMTA).
Dr. Aldama was selected as the initial recipient due to his commitment to water education and involvement with Project WET over many years.
“I have had the privilege of spending time with Dr. Alvaro Aldama and can say, without hesitation, that he is a man of vision and purpose. His support of global water education and his efforts implementing Project WET in Mexico and Latin America have helped establish Project WET as a respected international leader of water education for schools and communities,” said Valerie Gates, who commissioned the award. “Dr. Aldama is committed to bringing partners together for water education, student action, and in his own words from the 4th World Water Forum, ‘contributing to make this a world where water is available in adequate amounts and quality to satisfy the needs of all people.’”