Lake Eyre Basin wins 2015 Thiess International Riverprize

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The Lake Eyre Basin, Australia, won the 2015 Thiess International Riverprize for its impeccable efforts to integrate community, government and scientific perspectives to encourage sustainable economic growth while protecting the natural flows of the basin’s rivers from water resource development, mining, pollution and other threats.

 

The two other management teams selected as finalists in the 2015 Thiess International Riverprize were behind the sustainable management of the River Mur (Austria) and the Jordan River (Jordan, Palestine, Israel). 

 

IRF CEO, Dr Nicholas Schofield, said, “Recognising and celebrating outstanding achievements in river management is a core value of IRF. The Thiess International Riverprize is the most acclaimed river award globally and a life-changer for winners who are then encouraged to share their award-winning best practices with regions in need.”

 

The 2016 International Riverprize is now accepting entries.

 

Click here to enter!

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2015 Finalists

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About the Thiess International Riverprize

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The Thiess International Riverprize was first awarded in 1999, and has grown to become the world's most prestigious environmental award. There are now 15 international winners and more than 50 finalists who have demonstrated their outstanding achievement and commitment  to restoring the world's rivers.

 

The Thiess International Riverprize was originally funded by Thiess Pty Ltd and not only rewards excellence, but promotes the practice of knowledge sharing through the IRF Twinning program.

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2015
Lake Eyre Basin, Australia
Lake Eyre Basin Partnership
 
Jordan River,
EcoPeace
 
River Mur, Austria
Styrian Government Department of Water Management, Resources and Sustainability
2014
River Rhine, Europe
International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine
 
Glenelg River, Australia
Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority
 
Petitcodiac River, Canada
Petitcodiac Riverkeeper
 
San Antonio River, USA
San Antonio River Authority
2013
Mara River, Kenya
Mara River Water Users Association
 
Iloilo River, Iloilo, Philippines
Iloilo City Council
 
Murray-Darling Basin,
Murray-Darling Basin Authority
 
Bolshaya River, Kamchatka Region, Russia
Regional NGO "Let's Save Salmon Together"
2012
Willamette River, Oregon, USA
Meyer Memorial Trust
 
Nushagak River, Alaska, USA
Nushagak-Mulchatna / Wood-Tikchik Land Trust
 
Okavango River Basin, Angola, Namibia and Botswana
Permanent Okavango River Basin Water Commission (OKACOM)
 
Prespa Lakes, Greece
Society for the Protection of Prespa
2011
Charles River, Massachusetts, USA
Charles River Watershed Association
 
Mattole River, California, USA
Mattole River and Range Partnership
 
Yarra River, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Melbourne Water
2010
River Thames, United Kingdom
Environment Agency, England and Thames Rivers Restoration Trust
 
Hattah Lakes, Australia, Victoria
Mallee Catchment Management Authority
 
Smirnykh Rivers Partnership, Russia
Sakhalin Environment Watch
 
Yellow River, China
Yellow River Conservancy Commission
2009
Lake Simcoe, Canada
Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority
 
Lower Owens River, USA
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
 
Avon River, United Kingdom
Natural England
 
Polochic Basin, Guatemala
WWF Central America
 
Yellow River, China
Yellow River Conservancy Commission
2008
St. Johns River, USA
St. Johns River Water Management District
 
Swan Canning River System, Australia
Healthy River Program / Swan River Trust
 
Lake Macquarie, Australia
The Lake Macquarie Project Management Committee
2007
Danube River, Europe
International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River
 
Lake Simcoe, Canada
Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority
 
Project Twin Streams (various streams in Waitakere), New Zealand
Waitakere City Council
 
Yellow River, China
Yellow River Conservancy Commission
2006
Sha River, China
Foreign Affairs Office of Chengdu Municipal Government
 
Meewasin Valley, Canada
Meewasin Valley Authority
 
Kissimmee River, USA
South Florida Water Management District
 
Lake Macquarie, Australia
The Office of the Lake Macquarie & Catchment Coordinator
2005
Drôme, France
Communaute de Communes du Val de Drome
 
Hudson River Valley, USA
NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
 
Kissimmee River, USA
South Florida Water Management District
 
St. Croix River Basin, Canada
St. Croix International Waterway Commission
 
Sha River, China
The Sha River Restoration Project
2004
Siuslaw River Basin, USA
The Siuslaw Institute
 
Drôme, France
Communaute de Communes du Val de Drome
 
Meewasin Valley, Canada
Meewasin Valley Authority
 
Arvari River, India
Tarun Bharat Sangh
2003
Alexander River, Israel
The Alexander River Restoration Project
 
Fu & Nan Rivers, China
Chengdu Fu & Nan Rivers Revitalisation Project
 
Siuslaw River Basin, USA
Siuslaw National Forest
 
Arvari River, India
Tarun Bharat Sangh
 
Danube River, South-East Europe
WWF International Danube-Carpathian Programme
2002
Mekong River, South-East Asia
Mekong River Commission
 
Fu & Nan Rivers, China
Chengdu Fu & Nan Rivers Revitalisation Project
 
Kissimmee River, USA
South Florida Water Management District
 
Humber River, Canada
Toronto & Region Conservation Authority
 
Danube River, South-East Europe
WWF International Danube-Carpathian Programme
2001
Blackwood River, Australia
Blackwood Basin Group
 
Alexander River, Israel
Alexander River Restoration Administration
 
Styx River, New Zealand
Christchurch City Council
 
Humber River, Canada
Toronto and Region Conservation Authority
2000
Grand River, Canada
Grand River Conservation Authority
 
South Wales Rivers, United Kingdom
Keep Wales Tidy Campaign
 
Tsurumi River, Japan
Ministry of Construction
 
Wanganui River, New Zealand
Wanganui District Council
1999
Mersey River, United Kingdom
Mersey Basin Campaign
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Thiess International Riverprize Winners

Thiess International Riverprize Winners

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*please click map to enlarge

Thiess International Riverprize Finalists

Australian Riverprize Finalists

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*please click map to enlarge

Judging Panel

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The International RiverFoundation sincerely thanks our past and present judges for contributing their time and expertise!

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CURRENT THIESS INTERNATIONAL RIVERPRIZE JUDGES

Prof Bill Dennison - Chair

Vice President for Science Application, University of Maryland (Maryland, USA)

Prof Bill Dennison - Chair

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A/Prof Eva Abal

Director, UQ Water Chief Scientific Officer, Great Barrier Reef Foundation, Global Change Institute, The University of Queensland (Australia)

A/Prof Eva Abal

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Associate Professor Eva Abal’s major scientific expertise and research interests include scientific management and coordination of multidisciplinary projects, ecophysiology of marine communities, with emphasis on their use as biological indicators of various impacts on ecosystems, effective science communication, strategic research planning and facilitating linkages between scientists and managers/stakeholders.

 

Eva is Chief Scientist at the International Water Centre and oversees the management of scientific activities of the South East Queensland Healthy Waterways Partnership (SEQHWP), including quality assurance of scientific activities and information, research plan/design development, and dissemination of information to stakeholders. Eva coordinates the SEQHWP’s Scientific Expert Panel, a consortium of experts, which oversees the strategic research direction to achieve the Healthy Waterways vision. Eva is also the Chief Scientific Officer at the Great Barrier Reef Foundation. Eva’s passion is in the synthesis and effective communication of scientific information, making science relevant and useful to stakeholders and managers.

Prof Stuart Bunn

Director, Australian Rivers Institute, Griffith University (Australia)

Prof Stuart Bunn

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Professor Stuart Bunn is the Director of the Australian Rivers Institute at Griffith University, Brisbane Australia. His major research interests are in the ecology of river and wetland systems with a particular focus on ecosystem processes, which he has published widely on this topic.

 

Stuart has extensive experience working with international and Australian government agencies on water resource management issues. He is a member of the Scientific Steering Committee for the Global Water System Project, the Chair of the Scientific Advisory Panel for the Lake Eyre Basin Ministerial Council and the Deputy Chair of the Scientific Expert Panel for the Southeast Queensland Healthy Waterways Partnership. He also leads the Australian Climate Adaptation Research Network for Water Resources and Freshwater Biodiversity. In 2008, he was appointed as a National Water Commissioner.

 

In 2007, Stuart was awarded the Australian Society for Limnology Medal in recognition of his outstanding contribution to research and management of Australia’s inland waters.

 

Mr Bart Fokkens

Chairman, European Centre for River Restoration (The Netherlands)

Mr Bart Fokkens

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Bart Fokkens is the Chairman of the European Centre for River Restoration, a Pan – European network of national river restoration centres and other members bound by their common mission to promote and enhance ecological river restoration throughout the greater European region. The ECRR was established in the mid nineties with Bart Fokkens being one of the founders. In 2005 he became  the chairman of the ECRR.

 

Bart worked for 40 years with the Ministry for Water Management in The Netherlands in different positions in the field of Land, Water and Wetland Management. Now he is an technical advisor/ambassador for Wetland International, an independent not-for-profit, global organisation working to sustain and restore wetlands and their resources for people and biodiversity. 

 

Between 2008 and 2010, Bart was also president of the Dutch National Union of Provincial Nature Conservation Organisations, with about 500 conservation sites covering a total of ca. 100.000 ha, mainly wetlands, managed by 12 member organisations, each of them from one of the Dutch provinces. 

 

In 2007, Bart was awarded with the Russian Medal “From Understanding to Unity” for having excelled in promoting ideals contributing to the environmental safety of the planet and health of its inhabitants, preventing international conflicts, strengthening international connections and drawing together diverse national cultures.

 

In 1999 he was awarded to Knight of the 5th degree in the Order of Oranje  Nassau in the Netherlands. And since 2005 he is a Chamberlain of her Majesty the Queen of the Netherlands.

Dr David Garman

Founding Dean of the School of Freshwater Sciences, University of Wisconsin (USA)

Dr David Garman

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David’s career has covered the full range of environmental management from water resources and pollution control through to new environmental technologies, covering all aspects of measurement, management policy and strategic analysis. He is presently appointed as the Founding Dean of the School of Freshwater Studies at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, USA.  He took up this position in September 2011. His area of research and development focuses on applications of advanced technology to all aspects of environmental management but with a key emphasis on water and wastewater. The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has strong international linkages within the Americas and with Europe, and Asia. 

 

Formerly as Chief Executive of Environmental Biotechnology Cooperative Research Centre he had responsibility for research and development with a budget of about AUS$10M/year focused on applications of advanced biotechnology to all aspects of environmental management but with an emphasis on water and wastewater. Dr Garman has served as both an executive and non-executive director for private and listed companies.  He is well experienced in the innovation and commercialisation of new technologies.

 

Dr Garman is immediate past-President and former Chairman of the International Water Association.  He has served 2 terms being elected in 2005 to serve to September 2010.  He has served on the IWA board for over 10 years including 2 terms as senior vice president. He continues as a director and Past President of IWA. 

Mr Alan Vicory P.E, BCEE

Principal, Stantec (USA)

Mr Alan Vicory P.E, BCEE

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Mr Alan Vicory, Jr. received his B.S. in Civil Engineering from Virginia Military Institute in 1974. That same year he joined the consulting firm of Greeley & Hansen Engineers in Richmond, Virginia where he was involved in water and wastewater studies and designs. Interspersed with his employment at Greeley & Hansen was duty as a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Officer.
 
From 1979 through 2011, Alan served on the staff of the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO), where he was Executive Director and Chief Engineer for 24 years. ORSANCO is an interstate agency established in 1948, by state compact, to control and abate water pollution in the Ohio Basin. Members of the Commission represent Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and the United States and are appointed by the respective state Governors and the President. The Commission is a watershed-based regulatory agency and sets standards for discharges to the Ohio River, operates water monitoring systems, responds to spills, conducts surveys and serves to coordinate water pollution control on a river management basis.
 
In January 2012, Alan joined Stantec Consulting as a Principal in the firm where he is assisting with market development and on project teams as well as continuing his leadership roles in professional associations.
 
Alan is a licensed professional engineer in Ohio and Virginia and is board certified in the area of water and wastewater by the American Academy of Environmental Engineers. He is a past president of the Academy.
 
He is active in the Water Environment Federation and international affairs through the International Water Association (IWA - Former Chairman of the Watershed and River Basin Management Specialist Group). Also, he is a Past President of the Association of Clean Water Administrators and Past Chairman of the Water Environment Research Foundation. He is a member of the American Water Works Association and the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE). He is the recipient of awards sponsored by AAEE and NSPE and the National Association of Clean Water Agencies.

Ms Gayle Wood

Chief Administrative Officer, Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority (Canada)

Ms Gayle Wood

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Gayle Wood is currently the Chief Administrative Officer of the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authorty in Ontario, Canada.Gayle has a Bachelor of Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo, a Certificate in Alternative Dispute Resolution from the Faculty of Law at the University of Windsor, and a Certificate in Strategic Management from the Schulich School of Business, York University in Ontario. 

 

Gayle has worked for over 35 years in environmental protection with several conservation authorities, the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Ministry of the Environment, and the private sector.

 

She has worked internationally regarding integrated watershed management with China, Thailand, Suriname, Russia and Vietnam, winning an award from the State Council of China in 2000. She was proud to see the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority win the 2009 Thiess International Riverprize whilst she was the Chief Administrative Officer of the watershed based organisation.

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