Rajendra Singh was today named the 2015 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate for his innovative water restoration efforts, improving water security in rural India, and for building community engagement to solve local water problems.
Singh lives and works in the arid Indian state of Rajasthan, where he for several decades dedicated himself to defeating drought and empowering communities. In close cooperation with local residents, he and his organization have revived several rivers, brought water back to a thousand villages, and given hope to countless people.
On receiving news about the prize, Singh said, “This is very encouraging, energizing and inspiring news. Through the Indian wisdom of rainwater harvesting, we have made helpless, abandoned, destitute and impoverished villages prosperous and healthy again.”
Colin Sabol, Xylem Senior Vice President and President, Dewatering, and Chairman of the Xylem Watermark Committee, said, “On behalf of all Xylem employees, we congratulate Rajendra on this well-deserved recognition. His work is changing lives today, as well as paving a path forward towards sustainable solutions for the challenges we face globally.”
Xylem Watermark is the company’s global corporate citizenship and social investment program, which provides and protects safe water resources for vulnerable communities around the world.
Climate change is changing weather patterns around the world, leading to more frequent and intense droughts and floods. Learning how to harvest rainwater, cutting the peaks of water to fill the troughs, will be a key skill in most parts of the world.
“Due to the harvesting of rain and recharging groundwater, there is no scope for drought or floods in our area,” says Rajendra Singh. “This work of ours is a way to solve both floods and droughts globally. Therefore we believe the impact of this work is on the local level, national level, the international level and above all at the village level.”
H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, Patron of the Stockholm Water Prize, will present the prize to Rajendra Singh at a Royal Award Ceremony during 2015 World Water Week in Stockholm on August 26.