The Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize 2020 opens for nomination

1 Apr 2019

The prestigious Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize 2020 is now open for nominations.

We are once again looking for a potential winner for the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize. The call for nominees for the 2020 edition of the Prize will close on 1 July 2019, and the winner formally announced and honoured at Singapore International Water Week 2020. Then, in a highlight award ceremony, the newest Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize laureate will receive a gold medallion, a certificate, S$300,000 (about US$220,000) and wide international acclaim.

The Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize honours outstanding individuals or organisations who have benefitted humanity by significantly solving the world’s water problems through the use of revolutionary technologies or innovative policies and programmes. The Prize is named after Lee Kuan Yew, independent Singapore’s first Prime Minister, whose foresight and leadership has enabled Singapore to enjoy a sustainable and high-quality water supply. The Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize is made possible by the generous sponsorship of the Temasek Foundation Innovates, a Singapore-based non-profit philanthropic organisation.

We have awarded the Prize to eight laureates to-date. Dr Andrew Benedek was awarded the first Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize in 2008 for his outstanding work in the development of low-pressure membranes, and Professor Gatze Lettinga in 2009 for pioneering the treatment of used water using anaerobic technology. The Yellow River Conservancy Commission was awarded the Prize in 2010 for integrated river basin management on an unrivalled scale. Dr James Barnard won in 2011 for his invention of an eco-friendly method for nutrient removal in used water. The 2012 laureate, Professor Mark van Loosdrecht, invented Anammox, a process which greatly reduces energy consumption and chemical use in used water treatment. The 2014 Prize was given to the Orange County Water District for its work in groundwater management, its use of advanced technologies in water reclamation, and for advancing public acceptance of water reuse. In 2016, Professor John Cherry, was lauded for his contributions which led to global recognition of groundwater processes and the development of improved methods for monitoring groundwater contamination.

Most recently, the 2018 laureate, Professor Rita Cowell was awarded the Prize for her pioneering insights into microbial water quality surveillance, and her pivotal contributions in translating these insights into concrete practices and policies to better manage waterborne diseases and protect public health.

As we commence our search for the next Prize laureate, I ask you, a leader in the global water industry, to help us pass the word around and, better still, point us towards worthy nominees. Let us know of who you think may be deserving and I assure you that we will follow up with determined interest.

You may find more information about the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize in the attached brochure and on our website. I certainly encourage you to get in touch with us at

Find out more here.