Leading information provider Reed Elsevier will award $75,000 to two innovative projects that provide access to safe water and improved sanitation to communities where it is presently at risk.
According to the World Health Organization, nearly 900 million people in the world are deprived of good drinking water, while over 2.6 billion people do not have improved sanitation facilities. Poor access to safe water and sanitation contributes to health crises in many developing countries, and increasingly leads to violent conflict.
To contribute towards the Millennium Development Goal to reduce by half the number of people without access to safe drinking water, the Reed Elsevier Environmental Challenge, now in its second year, will award $50,000 and $25,000 to two innovative projects that provide communities with much needed access to water and sanitation. Youngsuk (Y.S.) Chi, chairman of the Elsevier Management Committee and head of government affairs for Reed Elsevier, said: "The Environmental Challenge draws attention to a critical problem facing our world - access to water. By leveraging our extensive networks and environmental publishing expertise, Reed Elsevier is uniquely placed to facilitate the exchange and dissemination of information about improving access to safe and sustainable water. Our aim is to highlight projects that really can make a difference."
The global competition is open to organizations and individuals working both in the private and not-for-profit sectors, and seeks to support innovative projects that are scalable, practical and can be replicated. The submissions will be also assessed on their ability to address non-discrimination/equity of access, involve a range of stakeholders and engage the local community.
Last year's first prize winner, the Tagore-SenGupta Foundation's proposal, focused on removing arsenic from contaminated ground-sourced drinking water in Cambodia. The project will see locally-available raw materials used to build and install 12 community-level filtration systems in remote villages. As well as removing arsenic from the environment, the project will improve the economic sustainability of the areas through the creation of community water councils to maintain the units.
To enter the competition applicants must provide a submission detailing their proposed project by 15 April 2012. To help entrants with the creation of their submissions Reed Elsevier is offering all applicants free access to its information resources including the journal Water Research.
The names of shortlisted projects will be published in July, with the winners announced in September. More information on the challenge and details of how to enter can be found on Reed Elsevier's website.
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