The entries for this year’s Institution Of Civil Engineers Chris Binnie Award for Sustainable Water Management opens on 1st February. The annual award, which has been running for 12 years, recognises excellence in promoting or improving the sustainability of water for the benefit of society (including the natural environment).
The award is targeted at the sustainable use or management of water in its widest sense and entries are encouraged from a diverse range of individuals or organisations, including water companies, consultants, contractors, research bodies, regulators, governments, NGOs, charities and community groups.
The award is not restricted to ICE members or physical works but can include anything that has contributed to the improved sustainability of water including a policy or strategy, a piece of research, a capital project or a programme of works (whether including engineering works or not) or some form of community or third sector action. The winner will be announced at the ICE’s prestigious annual awards ceremony in the autumn.
Jason Jones, member of the adjudication panel for the ICE Chris Binnie Award in Sustainable Water Management, says: “It’s been fantastic to see the amazing range and quality of submissions from around the world. Last year’s winner was the UK’s National Infrastructure Commission for its work promoting a radical new approach to the setting of leakage targets for water companies in England and Wales."
Chris Binnie, ICE Water Panel member and Visiting Professor at Exeter University, says he sponsors the award because he recognises the fundamental importance of water sustainability. “The award has been consistent in promoting this issue, well in advance of the huge increase in public awareness of climate change,” says Chris. “This hugely increased interest is sure to boost a great range of entries this year. I really encourage those with a piece of work they think may be suitable for the award to submit an entry."
The judges' assessment criteria this year includes:
- A clear, well thought out 2,500 word proposal focussing on the 4 areas of benefit, innovation, value and applicability.
- Benefit – really try to qualify this, for a physical scheme this is quite straight forward but we are keen to know how is this different/pushing the boundaries, for a research or strategy piece, how is it going to change the way we are working.
- Innovation is usually answered well and again we are looking for what is new, but also what have you built on, have you looked elsewhere and built on that knowledge?
- Value is something that applications consistently struggle with – we really need some metrics, for example, how many people have been helped, how many people has the strategy reached, what feedback have you received, costs compared to business as usual, is it being implemented by government/institutions etc.
- Applicability is looking for the bigger picture. This award is all about the core theme “benefited society by improving the sustainable management of water” - what is transferable from your project to the wider society. Has any one else built on your work? What is next?
Past winners of the award have included rainfall and water level sensors to make the most beneficial use of storm water infrastructure; very low flush toilets in a large office HQ building; a national water efficiency strategy, a sustainable urban drainage (SuDs) project and the dual water supply system in Hong Kong.
Submissions open from 1 February. Entries will be open until 3 April 2020.