CAWST wins award at World Water Week in Stockholm

CAWST, the Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology, receives first prize at World Water Week in Stockholm for innovative solutions to improve sustainable access to safe water and sanitation.

The Reed Elsevier Environmental Challenge First Prize is being awarded to CAWST “for an innovative, practical solution for sustainable access to safe water and sanitation services to the poor”.

Water-borne diseases from unsafe drinking water and poor sanitation causes over 4,000 child deaths worldwide every day.

Tommy Ngai, Director of Research Learning, CAWST, said: “We are thrilled that Reed Elsevier recognizes the treatment of water in the home as one of the most effective options to provide safe drinking water, especially in rural villages. The biosand filter is a proven household water treatment technology with great potential to become more widely and sustainably used for improving water quality to reduce waterborne disease and death.

The prize will be used for research in Nepal on biosand filters, in partnership with the University of Illinois and ENPHO, a Nepalese NGO. The biosand filter is a household water treatment device which was developed at the University of Calgary. The project will bring safer drinking water to over 1,000 people in the two Nepalese villages and has the potential to be scaled to help millions over the next 10 years.

CAWST, the Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology, is Calgary-based international non-profit organization that provides training and consulting to organizations that work directly with populations in developing countries who lack access to clean water and basic sanitation.

CAWST’s clients have reached 6 million people with better water and sanitation in 63 developing countries. CAWST’s education and training material has been used to educate and train over 1.5 million people – 1 million people alone in the past year.

On September 20th in Calgary, Canada, CAWST will announce its plans to help 20 million people get better water and sanitation by 2020. For more information on the event, visit