SINGAPORE — The Orange County Water District (OCWD) in California has been awarded the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize 2014 for its pioneering work in groundwater management and water reclamation as well as its achievements in public policy and community outreach, according to a press release published by Digital Journal.

The Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize, awarded during the Singapore International Water Week, is an international water award that recognizes outstanding contributions towards solving global water problems by either applying innovative technologies or implementing policies and programs that benefit humanity, noted the release.

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The sixth recipient of the prize, continued the release, the OCWD set up its Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS) in 2008, which uses reclaimed water to create a hydraulic barrier against seawater intrusion, preventing contamination of drinking water wells, and supplying 265,000 m3/d of water to meet the needs of 600,000 people.

An Independent Advisory Panel as well as an aggressive outreach campaign provided public confidence in the project and garnered public acceptance, the release reported.

Mr Tan Gee Paw, chairman of the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize Nominating Committee, said: "OCWD has clearly redefined the standard and demonstrated how communities can develop, implement and achieve sustainable water reuse. Their application and successful implementation of innovative water treatment technologies, as well as water quality management and public outreach efforts, make them an international leader in this field. The GWRS has become an established blueprint for groundwater recharge and water reuse schemes, and has inspired many countries including Singapore."

Read the full release here.