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The 2022 Water Summit has brought together distinguished national and international scholars to debate cutting-edge issues of water security and technology in an interactive and immersive setting.

Within the summit, we have awarded the first biannual Zuckerberg Water Prize ($60,000) for outstanding achievements and global impact in the broader field of Water.

The rich program included roundtable discussions with active audience participation and a special keynote session with the recipient of the Zuckerberg Water Prize.

Prof. Damià Barceló

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Affiliation: Prof. Damia Barcelo Professor at Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research, IDAEA-CSIC, Barcelona, Spain and at Catalan Institute for Water Research, ICRA-CERCA, Spain

Fields of Research

Environmental Chemistry: (i) the need for the trace determination of environmental pollutants; (ii) to study the fate and risk of pollutants in complex environmental matrixes , (iii) sewage epidemiology as way to identify indicators of population health and (iv) to conduct remediation studies on the removal of these emerging contaminants. The objective of Prof. Barcelo’s scientific career has been to solve different environmental problems in the field of water quality by the development of new analytical methods in addition to fate, risk and remediation studies for emerging pollutants such as polar pesticides, surfactants, endocrine disruptors, pharmaceuticals, illicit drugs and carbon-based nanomaterials (fullerenes), microplastics and more recently large molecules such as protein biomarkers.

Damia Barcelo Culleres



It is our pleasure to name Professor Ashok Gadgil the recipient of the 2022 Zuckerberg Water Prize for his outstanding leadership, vision, innovation, and lasting global impact in the field of Water.

Prof. Gadgil holds the Distinguished Chair Professorship of Safe Water and Sanitation in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of California, Berkeley. 

Prof. Gadgil is among the foremost pioneers of the engineering-development nexus. Throughout his career, he has been a true visionary and leader in the field of water, having laid the foundation for the field of Development Engineering and serving as one of its most influential researchers ever since. For the past three decades, Prof. Gadgil has been identifying water challenges posing a wide range of adverse health and other human impacts, inventing robust, inclusive and affordable engineering technologies, and implementing them at scale to serve human health and development in remote, developing, and resource-poor areas globally. In particular, Prof. Gadgil has trail-blazed utilizing multiple technologies to treat different water contaminants and developed these into viable, cost-efficient, patented, licensed, and globally deployed systems.

Among his developments are a system using ultraviolent light to disinfect water now deployed in five countries; an effective and affordable technology for removing arsenic from groundwater piloted in India and slated for field testing in California; a low-cost effective fluoride treatment technology using lightly treated mineral bauxite as an adsorbent, scheduled for field testing; effective and highly cost-efficient electrocoagulation of lead pipes to curb leaching of the deadly heavy metal; and, most recently, a newly developed method for removing chromate from contaminated groundwater. With a holistic approach, Prof. Gadgil’s leadership spans the entire water ecosystem, bridging a critical gap between academic research, engineering, technology, policy-making and human development with innovation dedicated to achieving real-world impact. Among others, his founding and co-stewardship of the open-access journal “Development Engineering” reflects this holistic vision to ensure that new knowledge is cross-cutting, accessible, and benefits all stakeholders – not least of whom are young scientists in developing countries. His intellectual breadth and commitment are also reflected in his serving for the past 14 years as the Co-Editor in Chief of the prestigious (and now Open Access) non-profit journal Annual Reviews of Environment and Resources. Through his inspirational research, work, publications, teaching, and mentoring, Prof. Gadgil has been a career-long champion of Sustainable Development Goal 6: Access to Safe Drinking Water for All, long before the formation of the SDGs. The R&D 100 Award, the Prince Sultan Abdulaziz International Prize for Water, and the Lemelson-MIT Award for Global Innovation represent but a few of the awards he has received, as well as being recognized by NASA and USAID as One of the Top 10 Global Innovators for Water Technologies. It is for all this and more that we are delighted to name Prof. Ashok Gadgil as the recipient of the 2022 Zuckerberg Water Prize.

Mr. Ashok Gadgil
  • Ashok Gadgil Webpage
  • Ashok Gadgil Water Research Lab
  • Gadgil Youtube Channel
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