Presidents’ Award, 2015

Alice Aureli and Shammy Puri

The IAH awards were presented during the 42nd IAH Congress in Rome. In a new departure for IAH, the Presidents’ Award was given jointly to Secretary General Shammy Puri and Alice Aureli in recognition of their contribution to the long and fruitful collaboration between IAH and UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme (IHP).

Shammy has masters degree in hydrogeology and engineering geology and also in civil engineering and water resource management After many years of groundwater work for a UK water company and UK consulting enginers, Shammy has worked as an independent consultant on numerous projects all over the world. He has been Secretary General of IAH since 2012. Alice has a masters degree in hydrogeology and PhD in hydrogeochemistry. She joined UNESCO IHP in 1992 and is now Chief of the Groundwater Systems ans Settlements Section of the UNESCO’s Water Sciences Division. Throughout this time, Alice has worked consistently to promote better understanding and appreciation of groundwater resources in the international arena and Shammy has regularly contributed to the development of successive phases of the IHP.

The partnership which the award particularly recognises dates from 2001 with joint activities between the International Shared Aquifer Resources Management (ISARM) programme within UNESCO-IHP and IAH’s Commission on Transboundary Aquifers.  A feature of this partnership was the support to the UN Law Commission on the Draft Articles on the Law of Transboundary Aquifers,whose work has been

recognised previously by IAH with the award of Distinguished Associate to Ambassador Yamada. More recently, Shammy and Alice have played an important part in bringing the GEF project on groundwater governance to a successful conclusion.  Because Alice could only be in Rome for the early part of the week, the presentation by President Ken Howard was made immediately after her keynote on the opening day.

In their responses, both warmly thanked IAH for the award and pledged to ensure continuing close collaboration between IAH and UNESCO.