Reed Elsevier Environmental Challenge Winners Announced

By Elsevier, PRNE
Tuesday, May 31, 2011

LONDON, June 1, 2011 -

- Two Projects Bring Water to Communities in Need

The Reed Elsevier Environmental Challenge aims to encourage innovative
ideas that improve access to safe and sustainable water supply for
communities where it is presently at risk.

The winner of the $50,000 first prize, announced today, is
Tagore-SenGupta Foundation. Their project involves installation of twelve
community-level arsenic removal units in remote villages and schools in
Cambodia where arsenic groundwater contamination is rife. The technology,
which has been tested in India, will provide local employment in the
construction and installation of units and in the caretaking phase of the
project. The arsenic removal units use regenerable adsorbents and do not
require electricity or costly maintenance.

Second prize of $25,000 is awarded to Jenna Forsyth, whose project
focuses on low-resource chlorine generation to address unsafe drinking water
and poor sanitation in the Nyanza province of western Kenya, one of the
poorest regions in the country. In partnership with the Program for
Appropriate Technology in Health, the school-based pilot involves a prototype
chlorine generator using salt, water, and battery power to generate chlorine
for water disinfection. On a single battery charge, the device can run for
200 cycles, generating 40,000 litres of clean water.

The Reed Elsevier Environmental Challenge was open between July and
October 2010. Registrants were provided access to relevant Reed Elsevier
products and services. Four short-listed candidates were also given Reed
Elsevier product access to help them refine their proposals before making
presentations to the jury in May.

The jury consisted of Professor Andras Szollosi-Nagy, Rector, UNESCO-IHE;
Dr. Prasad Modak, Executive President, of India's Environmental Management
Centre; Professor Gang Pan, Research Center for Eco-environmental Sciences,
Chinese Academy of Sciences; Dr. Jean Rogers, Leader of Arup's Americas
Sustainability Practice; and Robyn Stein, Director of ENS in South Africa.

Projects were evaluated on the degree to which they were replicable,
scalable, sustainable, and innovative; emphasised solutions with practical
applicability; addressed non-discrimination/equality of access from a
scientific, legal or other basis; and involved a range of stakeholders and
local communities.

According to the World Health Organisation, lack of water to meet daily
needs is a reality for one in three people around the world. Poor access to
safe water contributes to health crises in many developing countries, and
increasingly leads to violent conflict. The Reed Elsevier Environmental
Challenge contributes to the Water for Life Decade, established by the UN
General Assembly, running between 2005 and 2015, in support of the Millennium
Development Goal to reduce by half the number of people without access to
safe drinking water and to stop unsustainable exploitation of water

Dr. Marcia Balisciano, Director of Corporate Responsibility at Reed
Elsevier said, "The two winning projects fulfill the aim of the Reed Elsevier
Environmental Challenge to provide clean and sustainable water to communities
in need and, because they are scalable, the benefits can be widely dispersed.
The Reed Elsevier Environmental Challenge is a tangible example of how we aim
to use our networks and expertise to facilitate the exchange and
dissemination of information to benefit society."

The two winning projects will be featured in the Reed Elsevier journal
Water Research, and will be celebrated at a reception on 24 August in
Stockholm, Sweden during World Water Week. To find out more visit the
Environmental Challenge website ( or

Reed Elsevier Environmental Challenge first place winner -
Tagore-SenGupta Foundation

Sustainable Treatment of Contaminated Groundwater in Cambodia: Turning a
Crisis into an Economic Enterprise

The project focuses on arsenic removal in ground-sourced drinking water
in Cambodia. Many people living in the Mekong river floodplains in Vietnam,
Cambodia and Laos use water contaminated with arsenic at concentrations
typically over 20 times the safe limit prescribed by the World Health
Organization. The project involves an arsenic groundwater removal system
using locally available chemical compounds and reusable sand filters. Ground
water is pumped into an overhead tank, chemically stabilised, filtered using
reusable arsenic-selective adsorbents, and converted into stable
sludge/solids for safe long-term storage. Twelve community-level arsenic
removal units are to be installed in remote villages and schools in Cambodia.

The project, using locally available raw materials, will complement
traditional methods of water collection and costs will be shared by users.
Environmental sustainability is addressed through the careful containment and
storage of the arsenic removed from the contaminated water to ensure it does
not leach into the environment. Socio-economic sustainability will be
addressed through the formation and functioning of community water councils
to ensure efficient operation and upkeep of the units. The Tagore-SenGupta
Foundation, based in Pennsylvania, will be partnering with Cambodian NGO,
This Life Cambodia, and Lehigh University.

Reed Elsevier Environmental Challenge second place winner - Jenna Forsyth

Improving access to safe water and empowering students and communities
through a scalable school-based water treatment and education programme in

The project developed by Jenna Forsyth, a student at the University of
, aims to develop a scalable school water treatment and education
programme in the Nyanza province of western Kenya. The Smart
Electrochlorinator 200, developed with Cascade Designs and Program for
Appropriate Technology in Health, utilises locally available salt and battery
or solar power to generate enough chlorine-based disinfectant solution per
six minute cycle to treat 200 litres of water. The pilot, concentrating on
three schools initially, will involve creation of school water clubs to
increase knowledge of basic water, sanitation, and hygiene among students,
teachers, and parents.

The project will engage a range of other stakeholders including community
health workers, village leaders, and officials from the Kenyan Ministries of
Education, Water, and Public Health. A project leader from each school will
be trained to conduct regular sampling to ensure the water meets WHO
standards for water quality.

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