Technologist wins Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize 2011 for revolutionising used water treatment
Dr James L. Barnard has been awarded the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize 2011, a prestigious award that recognises outstanding contributions towards solving global water problems by either applying technologies or implementing policies and programs which benefit humanity.
For his groundbreaking invention of the Biological Nutrient Removal (BNR) technology, an environmentally sustainable, biological method to treat used water, Dr Barnard stood out from a record of 72 high-quality nominations received from 29 countries this year, to become the fourth recipient of the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize – one of the highlights of the Singapore International Water Week.
Dr Barnard’s BNR technology revolutionised used water treatment processes by using naturally occurring micro-organisms instead of conventional chemicals to remove nitrogen and phosphorous from used water. This helps to protect water quality in lakes and rivers, minimise negative impact on the environment and promote the recycling of water.
Commenting on Dr Barnard’s achievement, Mr Tan Gee Paw, Chairman of the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize Nominating Committee said, “The Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize celebrates Dr James Barnard’s outstanding achievement in the development of the BNR technology. His relentless pursuit of adaptable solutions to resolve the challenge of water reclamation has led to a highly sustainable technology that protects the quality of precious water resources and the environment, and delivers immense benefit to mankind. Bridging the gap between research and industrial application, his technology now forms the basis of all BNR processes in use today in both developed and developing countries.”
Dr Barnard will receive the award from Singapore’s first Prime Minister and present Minister Mentor, Lee Kuan Yew, at a presentation ceremony and banquet to be held on 5 July during Singapore International Water Week 2011. Dr Barnard will also deliver the Singapore Water Lecture 2011 to some 1,500 delegates comprising government, business and academic leaders attending the Singapore International Water Week 2011.