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March 22, 2016

MSU global water scientist awarded world’s top water prize

Michigan State University professor Joan Rose is the 2016 recipient of the Stockholm Water Prize, announced Tuesday at the United Nation’s World Water Day celebration in Geneva. The Stockholm Water Prize is the world’s most-prestigious water award.

Rose, a global water science expert and Homer Nowlin Chair in Water Research, is recognized by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) for her research on microbial risk to human health in water, her successful translation of the science to policy makers, and for her leadership in developing the tools and guidelines required to give policy and regulatory life to the science.

“This prize is known the world over and brings so much attention to water issues, and I am so very honored to join the previous accomplished winners,” Rose said. “With this honor comes an opportunity to speak about some of the most difficult problems of our century and water quality is one of those. Water is at the core of sustainability and water quality affects the bio health of our planet with humans, animals and plants equally impacted. It also affects our food security, our economic opportunities and our well-being.”

The Stockholm Water Prize is awarded to recognize outstanding water achievements and encourage interest in water and sustainability issues. It is presented by Carl XVI Gustaf, King of Sweden and patron of the prize, during the annual World Water Week celebration in August. During World Water Week, global leaders and experts gather to network, exchange ideas and foster new thinking around the most pressing water-related challenges of today.

“Dr. Rose’s expertise in human pathogens, pollutants and health hazards combined with her charismatic leadership has made the world a safer place for all of us,” said Torgny Holmgren, executive director of SIWI. “The world is blessed with few individuals who can tackle the increasing and changing challenges to clean water and health coupled with an ability to influence practitioners and raise general awareness. Dr. Rose has continuously led efforts to make the world a better place for humans and other species that share the planet.”

An international expert in water microbiology, water quality and public health safety, Rose leads the Water Quality, Environmental and Molecular Microbiology Laboratory at MSU. She has investigated numerous waterborne outbreaks worldwide, and has studied water used for food production, drinking water treatment, wastewater treatment and reclaimed water. She recently was appointed an honorary citizen of Singapore for her significant contributions over the last 14 years in developing a safe and sustainable water system in the island nation.

“Recognition from the Stockholm International Water Institute underscores Joan Rose’s substantial achievements in protecting the world’s precious water resources and human health,” MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon said. “It reminds us how MSU faculty, students and alumni take on the world’s biggest problems and make the world a better place in large and small ways.”

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