Three public policy students are awarded IWSN Student Prize for essay on water security

prizeWith an essay that describes the promotion of water conservation in households, Ana Melissa Aguirre Loreto, Maria Alejandra Gallardo Urrea and Myriam Fernanda Ramirez Ruiz, undergraduate students at Universidad de Sonora, were selected as winners of the IWSN Student Prize for 2016, organised by the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy at the University of Arizona.

During the award ceremony, the three students – who are also members of the Herminio Ahumada Ortiz Association ‘Citizens Building a Possible Future’ – described how they will do their field study this summer, finishing on 2 September with a report outlining the main conclusions.

The ceremony was headed by Amelia Iruretagoyena Quiroz, who is the Director of the Social Sciences Division, as well as Nicolás Pineda Pablos, Research Professor at El Colegio de Sonora (Colson), and member of the International Water Security Network (IWSN).

Pineda Pablos emphasised that the invitation to participate in this contest focused on the need to understand the importance of climate change adaptation through increasing the education of the population, with the objective to develop awareness on the need to conserve water, creating a culture based on sustainability and water security.

Ana Melissa Aguirre and Miryam Fernanda Ramirez explained that they decided to focus on this topic because the world faces a serious crisis due to the lack of water, and that there are signals that this phenomenon is increasing.

“Due to reliance of water availability on climate variability in each region, it is natural that the water sector is affected, either by flooding or drought,” they stated, and for this reason, they said, it is necessary to be aware of the value that this vital resource has for life and the role it plays in the different ecosystems for our survival and wellbeing on earth.

During their speeches, they also mentioned their strategies to collect data in ten households within Hermosillo, where they will inquire about water consumption and water fees, physical description of the households, number and ages of household members, water-consuming habits, and their opinion about water quality, landscape irrigation activities, washing their cars, and any other similar activity that uses potable water from the grid. They will also ask whether household members would be willing to reduce their water use in the next few months.

This event was also attended by Gustavo de Jesus Bravo Castillo, Chief of the Sociology Department and Public Policy, and Armando Andrade Marquez, Academic Advisor.

(The original version of this article is here.)