Mr Marco van Dijk receives WRC Award

Posted on September 22, 2015

On 17 September, Mr Marco van Dijk, from the University of Pretoria’s Department of Civil Engineering, was awarded the Knowledge Tree Award in the category New Products and Services for Economic Development by the Water Research Commission (WRC). He was selected as the 2015 recipient of the prestigious award on the basis of his significant contribution to water science and technology, and the impact of his research on new products and services for economic development.

The award was presented to him at a gala dinner and awards ceremony during the WRC RDI (Research, Development and Innovation) Symposium and Water-tech Summit 2015, which took place from 16–18 September at the Birchwood Hotel and OR Tambo Conference Centre in Boksburg.

The theme for this year’s event was ‘Universal access wherever you are’, which implies that it is necessary to rethink how we approach access to water and sanitation. Universal access, when applied to water and sanitation, usually means adequate distribution of safe drinking water and sanitation infrastructure to all citizens. Water is essential for local development – particularly for sectors such as health, agriculture, economic development, education and the environment. However, 768 million people in the world do not have access to clean drinking water and 2,5 billion people live without basic sanitation facilities.

Integrating universal access to drinking water and basic sanitation into the post-2015 agenda is a priority for the water and sanitation sector worldwide. At the same time, there is a consensus that the current UN Millennium Development Goal monitoring system does not establish whether water is really safe to drink. Against a backdrop of future uncertainties, including climate change and changing habits, diets, lifestyles and water-demand patterns, there has to be an integrated approach to addressing these challenges.

The Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology congratulates Mr van Dijk on his success and on receiving this prestigious award.  


- Author Denise Smit

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