Neptun-Water Award, Category WaterProtection, for the Project „Life Source Alpine Karstic Springs“
On March 20, 2013 the Neptun-Water Award (category WaterProtection), was confered to our cooperation partner Prof. Andreas Farnleitner on behalf of our Interuniversity Cooperation Centre Water & Health (www.waterandhealth.at) for the project „Life Source Alpine Karstic Springs – New Pathways for Comprehensive Understanding, Protection and Management“.
The Neptun Water Award is the Austrian Environment and Innovation Award dealing with everything around water. It was founded in 1999 and is awarded every 2 years. Alpine karstic waters are a prominent drinking water ressource; in Austria approximately 50 % of the population are supplied with water from alpine karstic springs. The aim of the project, that lasted more than 8 years, was to establish for the first time the basic scientific knowledge of the microbiology of alpine karstic springs. Based on this knowledge concepts for resource protection and management were created. Among others we found that life in the karstic waters is much more diverse than previously thought. The indigenous microbes (the so called autochthonous microbial endokarst communities – AMEC) are playing a central role for the water quality; they clean the water on its way through the rocks. The gained knowledge is disseminated to water professionals in form of training courses and finds its entry into national guidelines and specialists´ commitees. The new concepts are also already implemented by the Vienna Water Works. In total, more than 15 international Peer reviewed publications were published in the frame of the project, 9 diploma theses and 3 PhD theses.
A digest of the Jury decision: „The project is scientifically excellent and has a concrete relevance for implementation – not only in this special case but it can also be transferred to other regions.“
back to: Institute for Hygiene and Applied Immunology