Discover the distinguished recipients of IWRA’s 2020 awards!

1. Crystal Drop Award
2. Water Drop Award
3. Ven Te Chow Memorial Lecture Award
4. New Honorary Members
5. New Fellow Members

IWRA is pleased to announce the distinguished recipients of the Association’s 2020 awards. 

You are invited to come and meet these amazing water leaders at the XVII World Water Congress taking place in Daegu, South Korea, from September 21st to 25th 2020, where there will be a dedicated IWRA Awards Ceremony.

The IWRA Executive Board congratulates all of the winners and thanks everyone for making so many nominations to be considered by the Awards Committee for this year’s honours.  This was no easy task for the Committee.  It is inspiring to be able to recognise the achievements and contributions that all of these people have made so far towards the sustainable management and use of the world’s water resources.

Ven Te Chow Memorial Award & Lecture


The Ven Te Chow Memorial Lecture provides for an outstanding lecture at IWRA’s World Water Congresses in honour of the first president of the IWRA.  Awardees are well known in the water community, and have a demonstrated ability to give outstanding lectures.

Soontak Lee
Yeungnam University, World Water Council & President of IHES

Prof. Dr. Soontak Lee is presently a Distinguished Professor / Professor Emeritus of Hydrology and Water Resources Engineering of Yeungnam University, Korea. He is also a Honorary Governor of the World Water Council (WWC) and President of the International Hydrologic Environmental Society (IHES).  Prof. Lee has been engaged as a Co-Chair of the International Scientific Committee (ISC) of the 7th World Water Forum in Daegu-Gyeongbuk Korea in 2015, as well as a Chairperson and President of the UNESCO-IHP Intergovernmental Council from 2010 to 2012.  He has obtained four Doctoral degrees, Ph.D., D.Sc., Hon. D. Eng. Sc. & Hon. Dr. Tech. Sc.  More information:

Crystal Drop Award


The Crystal Drop Award is provided to organizations or individuals in recognition of their laudable contributions to the improvement of the world’s water situation. These contributions may be through path breaking research on water issues, practice in water management or governance, knowledge transfer or dissemination, and/or outstanding contributions.

Doğan Altinbilek
Middle East Technical University

Prof. Doğan Altinbelik is an Emeritus Professor of Water Resources Engineering at Civil Engineering Department of Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey. After receiving his B.S. degree in Civil Engineering from Middle East Technical University (METU) in 1965, Prof. Altinbilek received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Civil Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, USA. Since 1970, he has been involved in an academic profession holding posts at Middle East Technical University of Turkey and King Abdulaziz University of Saudi Arabia. From 1996 to 2001, he was the Director General of State Hydraulic Works (DSI), which is the major government agency in Turkey responsible for water resources development including hydropower, irrigation and water supply to large cities. From 2005 to 2009, Prof. Altinbilek was appointed as President of Energy Group at IC Holding, in Turkey and also as Chairman of Board of AES-IC Ictas Energy Production Company.

Prof. Doğan Altinbilek is an Honorary Member and the Past President (2013-2015) and Past Vice President (2007-2019) of the International Water Resources Association (IWRA). In addition, he served as a Governor (2006-2018) and Vice President (2012-2018) of World Water Council (WWC) where he continues to serve as an Honorary Governor. Prof. Altinbilek is also an Honorary Member and the Past President (2004-2008) of International Hydropower Association (IHA). More information:

Water Drop Award

The Water Drop Award recognises a student or early career professional, typically under the age of 35, who has made an innovative contribution to the water sector. These contributions may include, but are not limited to ground breaking recent research on water issues, entrepreneurship in the water sector, and raising the profile of younger people in the water sector.

Laura Movilla Pateiro
University of Vigo

Dr. Laura Movilla Pateiro is a lecturer in Public International Law at the University of Vigo, Spain. Her main field of research is international water law, with a particular focus on the law of transboundary aquifers. More information:

New Honorary Members

Honorary Membership is the highest honour IWRA can bestow and is awarded to those who have made significant contributions to the field of water resources and/or attained acknowledged eminence in some field of water resources. IWRA Honorary Membership provides free membership for life to an individual.

Patrick Lavarde 
French Ministry of Environment

Claudia Sadoff
International Water
Management Institute (IWMI)

Jennifer J. Sara
World Bank Group

New Fellow Members

IWRA Fellow Membership is granted to an existing IWRA member who has been with IWRA for at least ten years and has either made major contributions to the Association, has held a position of high responsibility, has attained a high level of academic qualification in the field of water resources management, or has made significant contributions though their work.  IWRA Fellows are eligible for discounted membership for life.

Henning Bjornlund
University of South Australia &
IWRA Executive Board

Carl Bruch
Environmental Law Institute

Michael Campana
Oregon State University

Zhao Hao
Ministry of Water Resources, People’s Republic of China

Shaofeng Jia
Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Yuanyuan Li
Ministry of Water Resources, People’s Republic of China &
IWRA Executive Board

Raya Marina Stephan
International Water Law Consultant &
IWRA Executive Board

Philippus (Flip) Wester
International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)

For more information on all of IWRA Awardees, please visit the XVII World Water Congress website: