The 2015 recipient of the Association’s Distinguished Associate Award was Dr Pasquale Steduto of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). Pasquale holds MSc and PhD degrees from the University of California at Davis and has a background in soil-water relationships and has worked for more than 25 years on agricultural water use efficiency and water productivity, with a focus on crop water requirements under conditions of water scarcity in Southern Europe, the Near East and Africa.
His contributions in the international water arena began when he joined FAO in 2003 as Chief of the Water Resources, Development and Management Service. Whilst at FAO, Pasquale promoted AQUASTAT, FAO’s global information system on water and agriculture, with particular attention to groundwater as one of the most uncertain variables in large scale water accounting.
He was Chair of UN-Water from 2007 to 2009, and has served on the Global Agenda Council for Water Security of the Global Economic Forum, on the Advisory Committee for Stockholm Water Week and the Board of Governors of the World Water Council. As Chair of UN-Water, he strongly supported the establishment of the GEF Project on groundwater governance, which has recently been successfully concluded by FAO, UNESCO-IHP, IAH and the World Bank. In his current role as FAO Deputy Regional Representative based in Egypt, he has contributed significantly to the establishment of a Regional Collaborative Platform within which the sustainable management of groundwater resources is one of the major focus areas.
IAH is pleased to acknowledge Pasquale’s personal contribution to the global recognition of the importance of groundwater resources, their wise use and sound management. The presentation was made by President Ken Howard during the closing ceremony of the congress. Pasquale thanked IAH, expressing his delight and surprise at receiving this award and promising to continue to promote the sustainable management of groundwater at every opportunity.