"And the winner is… Blue Deal Peru with their video on research into water for rice cultivation!" With these words, Luzette Kroon, board member International Affairs at the Association of Dutch Water Authorities, announced the winner of the NWB Award 2023 during the Dutch Water Authorities' Network Day on November 27.
The NWB Award, presented annually by the NWB Fund during the DWA Network Day, recognises the most inspiring video on international water management work. The NWB Fund, established by the NWB Bank (the bank for water authorities in the Netherlands), aims to invest in enhancing integrated water management elsewhere in the world. The victorious team stood proudly on the podium, and rightfully so. The winning team receives a cash prize of 5000 euros to invest in their project and eternal fame. Milagros Sosa, from the Blue Deal Peru, exclaimed, “This is so beautiful! Our partners in Peru will be thrilled.”
Nearly 1000 votes
This year, 9 videos were submitted by project teams from Asia, Africa, and South America. A professional jury comprising representatives from the NWB Fund, Blue Deal, and professional filmmakers selected a shortlist of 3 videos. The selection criteria included: Is it a compelling story that can be shared? What is the technical quality of the video? Does it align with this year’s theme of ‘smart collaboration with stakeholders’? Consequently, the videos from Peru, Burkina Faso, and Ethiopia stood a chance to win. A digital vote was then conducted to choose the winner. Both water experts and international partners were eligible to vote this time, and the turnout was significant: nearly 1000 votes were cast.
What is the movie about?
Using local research, the video shows an example of smart cooperation with a concrete goal of saving water in rice production in Piura, and therefore having a reduction of the water footprint in food production. The research shown in the video is the first initiative of a scholarship programme launched by Blue Deal Peru to support young researchers from local universities working on Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) themes to achieve their professional titles. This video has been made by our Young Expert and the Piura technical team.
Bert van Boggelen, director of the NWB Fund, asked partnership manager Kees de Jong if they had lobbied intensively. Kees replied matter-of-factly, “Simply shared the video.” Nonetheless, the enthusiasm in South America evidently prevailed. The research on water supply for rice cultivation has significantly impacted farmers in the Piura region in northern Peru, where rice cultivation is prevalent. More effective and efficient water management practices are now in place, crucial in times when water is becoming scarcer due to climate change.
Water is crucial for liveable earth
All entrants will receive a jury report along with an offer of feedback from a professional filmmaker. This is the NWB Fund’s effort to support the creation of increasingly better videos, a great medium to raise awareness of international water management work. These projects contribute significantly to climate adaptation. During the network day, climate general Tom Middelkoop was a guest speaker. In his presentation, he emphasised the impact of climate change on geopolitical relations and the necessity to enhance livability in severely affected regions. This is precisely what the water management projects aim to achieve, as water is crucial for a liveable earth.