India and Singapore have won the 2014 edition of the UN-Water's Water for Life Best Practices Award for their sustainable practices of water resources.
This was announced Friday during an official UN ceremony here to mark World Water Day 2014 that falls March 22.
"The winners this year are excellent examples of two organisations that tackle future challenges in a sustainable way," said Michel Jarraud, chair of UN-Water at the ceremony held in the UN University, adding that humankind's future was highly dependent on their ability to manage resources and educate and raise awareness around them at the same time.
The prize is awarded annually separately for "best water management practices" and "best participatory, communication, awareness-raising and education practices". Each year's special emphasis is in line with the theme selected for UN World Water Day, which focuses on "Water and Energy" in 2014.
This year's "best water management practices" went to the International Water Management Institute (IWMI)-Tata Water Policy Programme (ITP), a project based on water scarcity across India, Xinhua reported.
ITP has made progress in filling the gap between research and policy action by simultaneously engaging with scientists and policy makers to tackle the socio-economic environmental challenges related to the improvement of the energy-irrigation nexus, according to the jury.
Singapore-based NEWater program, which can meet 30 percent of Singapore's daily water needs, won the "best participatory, communication, awareness-raising and education practices" for its strong social component and enduring partnerships in its manifold and remarkable water management practices.
"One of the merits of the winning projects is how they have been able to integrate and scale-up practices to be able to improve access, efficiency and sustainability in water and energy and to do so in partnership with local and national actors," said Josefina Maestu, director of the UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication.
This year's award has received a total of 34 applications around the world, nine from Asia, five from Africa, eight from Europe and 12 from Latin American and Caribbean countries.
The purpose of the Water for Life award is to promote efforts to fulfill international commitments made on water and water-related issues by 2015 through recognition of outstanding best practices that can ensure the long-term sustainable management of water resources and contribute to the achievement of internationally agreed goals and targets contained in the Millennium Development Goals, Agenda 21, and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, according to the UN.