Sustainable Water Award


The Sustainable Water award is for the contributions of chemical sciences to equitable water supply.

Whilst there is an abundance of water on Earth, the majority is locked from human use; only 3% is fresh water; and slightly over two-thirds of this is frozen in glaciers and polar ice caps. 

Although fresh water is a renewable resource the world's supply is steadily decreasing and there is a need for sustainable management in all areas of the water cycle. 

Adapted or novel chemical science and technology solutions will play a major role in shaping future water sustainability. Some examples of topic areas that the chemical sciences in relation to water have the potential to impact upon include:

  • Water resources 
  • Rainwater harvesting 
  • Water treatment processes
  • Grey and black water re-use 
  • Sewer mining
  • Energy conversion and storage
  • Agriculture, food production and food waste
  • Climate variability
  • Desalination
  • By-products from industrial processes 

Holistic approaches will consider water and waste-water availability, movement, treatment, use and re-use and, with the increasing cost of energy resources, the importance of water-energy-food nexus will be pivotal in helping to improve water sustainability. The award will be given for significant contribution to this objective. 


2016 Winner

Professor Jun Ma

Sustainable Water Award 2016 Winner

Professor Jun Ma, Harbin Institute of Technology


General information


  • Run biennially - NOT OPEN for 2017 nominations 
  • Award winner receives 2000, a medal and a certificate
  • The winner will complete a UK lecture tour
  • Award winner will be chosen by the Environment, Sustainability and Energy Division Awards Committee         

Guidelines for Nominators


  • Nominations open on 01 October
  • Nominations close on 15 January 
  • Only RSC Members can nominate for this award
  • Nominees may NOT nominate themselves
  • The award is open to nominees based in the UK or internationally
  • There are no age restrictions associated with this award
  • When nominating previous RSC prize or award winners, please remember that a person cannot be awarded twice for substantially the same body of work 

To make a nomination please use our online awards nominations system to submit the following:

  • Your name, contact details, and membership number (please contact the RSC Membership team if you do not know your membership details)
  • The nominee's name and contact details 
  • An up to date CV for the nominee (no longer than one A4 side, 11pt text) which should include their date of birth, summary of education and career, a list of 5 relevant publications, total numbers of publications and patents (if appropriate) and website URL if relevant
  • A supporting statement (up to 4500 characters) addressing the selection criteria 
  • A short citation describing what the nominee should be awarded for. This must be no longer than 250 characters (not including spaces) and ideally no longer than one sentence
  • References are not required for this award            

Selection Criteria for RSC Awards


Our selection committees base their evaluations primarily on the overall quality of relevant contributions made by nominees and not simply on quantitative measures.

The selection committee(s) will consider the following aspects of all nominations for scientific research Awards as appropriate:

  • Originality of research
  • Impact of research
  • Quality of publications and/or patents and/or software
  • Innovation
  • Professional standing
  • Collaborations and teamwork
  • Other indicators of esteem indicated by the nominee/nominator   

Environment, Sustainability and Energy Division Awards Committee


  • Brendan Keely (Chair), University of York   
  • Stephen Preece, EDF Energy
  • Muireann Coen, Imperial College London
  • Margaret McGuinness, Scottish Water
  • Martin King, Royal Holloway, University of London   

Previous Winners

Sustainable Water Award Previous Winners

2010 - present

History of the Award


The RSC Sustainable Water Award was established in 2008. 

Contact and Further Information

Awards
Royal Society of Chemistry, Thomas Graham House, Cambridge Science Park, Milton Road, Cambridge, CB4 0WF
Tel: +44 (0)1223 420066
Fax: +44 (0)1223 432359