Stockholm Prize awarded to German water expert

The German Professor Peter A. Wilderer, who has promoted and developed holistic, interdisciplinary research for more than 30 years in the pursuit of sustainable water use and sanitation, won the 2003 Stockholm Water Prize.

The German Professor Peter A. Wilderer, who has promoted and developed holistic, interdisciplinary research for more than 30 years in the pursuit of sustainable water use and sanitation, won the 2003 Stockholm Water Prize. Peter Wild-erer is a professor at the Technical University of Munich and serves as the Director of the Institute of Advanced Studies on Sustainability (IoS).

His recent initiation of the international programme "Safe Blue Danube" on water-related risk management is one example of his integrative approach to decision making that is based on sound science and appropriate technology, resulting in sustainable water management. The aim of the Danube programme is to develop appropriate measures to detect, avoid and counteract disastrous events concerning flooding and accidental pollution in the Danube river, its tributaries and delta in the Black Sea.

His contributions to basic discoveries now applied in modern biofilm reactors enable treatment facilities worldwide to clean wastewater from homes, businesses and industries, and return it safely every day for reuse in the water cycle.

He was one of the first researchers to question the sustainability of transferring Western sanitary concepts, with their traditional emphasis on centralised, large-scale solutions used in big cities, to the rest of the world. He recognised and promoted early the importance of decentralised, cost-effective small-scale wastewater treatment and reuse of water – an important point since 95% of the urban population growth by 2025 will take place in rapidly growing cities in poor developing countries.

Professor Wilderer, 64, will receive the prize from His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden at a ceremony in the Stockholm City Hall on Thursday, 14 August, during the annual World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden. The Laureate receives US$ 150,000 and a crystal sculpture. For more information on the event, visit the website at http://www.siwi.org.

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