Singh and Mohtar receive international water-resources awards

Two Texas A&M AgriLife Research water resources experts have been chosen as laureates at the 15th World Water Congress, held in Edinburgh, Scotland, recently.

Singh -214x 300Dr. Vijay Singh, distinguished professor with the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at Texas A&M University, has been selected to receive the International Water Resources Association’s Crystal Drop award and Dr. Rabi Mohtar, endowed professor with the same department, has been selected to present the Ven Te Chow Memorial Lecture.

“It’s definitely a rare event that faculty members from a single university would be receiving these two awards the same year,” said Dr. Stephen Searcy, head of the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering. “It’s even rarer that the award winners are from the same department.”

Mohtar -199x 300According to the association’s website, it is a non-profit “international network of multidisciplinary experts on water resources” established in 1971. “IWRA provides a global, knowledge based, forum for bridging disciplines and geographies by connecting professionals, students, individuals, corporations and institutions who are concerned with the sustainable use of the world’s water resources.”

The Crystal Drop award is given to “individuals or organizations in recognition of their laudable contribution to the improvement of the world’s water situation,” according to the website.

The Ven Te Chow Memorial Award “is one of the most prestigious awards of the IWRA, according to the website. The award is named after Dr. Ven Te Chow, the first president of the association, and “an eminent water scientist and a leading figure in water resources in the second half of the 20th Century.

Both honors were bestowed at the association’s international congress which is held every three years.

Mohtar has a joint appointment with the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering, is a holder of a Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station professorship and is founding director of the Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute. His primary research, the development of a framework to quantify the inter-linkages of the Water-Energy-Food Nexus that is constrained by climate change and social, political, and technological pressures. In addition, he continues to work on the design and evaluation of international sustainable water management programs to deal with water scarcity.

Singh is a distinguished professor with the department and holder of the Caroline and William N. Lehrer Distinguished Chair in Water. His research principal research topics have encompassed: watershed modeling, erosion and sediment transport in upland watersheds, streamflow forecasting, dam-break analysis, entropy-based modeling and the hydrologic impacts of climate change.

“We are extremely proud that two departmental faculty would be honored by this important water-resources organization,” Searcy said. “We’re especially pleased that it could occur during the year of our centennial. The department has a focus on water resources, and as we move into our second century of serving Texas, we know that continued and enhanced emphasis on water will be critical.”