Due to the upcoming application phase for the Mülheim Water Award 2018, Ulrich Scholten, patron and Lord Mayor of Mülheim an der Ruhr, shares his view on the importance of water for the city and the relevance of the Mülheim Water Award.
What meaning does water have for the city of Mülheim?
Scholten: Water is of great value for our city, something you already notice when you look at the affix “at the Ruhr” and the byname „city at the river“. Water also matters economically for us. Over the decades, many innovative and renowned companies from the water sector settled down in Mülheim an der Ruhr and the surrounding region, among them water utilities companies, manufacturing firms, service suppliers, and research institutes. To me, a key role for the future is to further connect and promote the water economy and science and I would like to mention that Mülheim an der Ruhr is going to apply to host the European Innovation Partnership on Water (EIP) Conference in 2018. I also would like to mention and refer to the globally known Mülheim procedure for drinking water production.
How important is the Mülheim Water Award for the city?
Scholten: The city profits from the award. It is part of a catalogue of measures that allows us to increase the reputation of Mülheim with its water competence on a national but also international level and to further strengthen the interest in water science and research. The award is being granted since 2006 and we are very proud that the city name “Mülheim” is part of the name of the award. That is just one of the reasons why we fully support it.
How do you perceive and evaluate the Mülheim Water Award?
Scholten: When I was asked as Lord Mayor of Mülheim to take over the patronage for the award from my predecessor Dagmar Mühlenfeld, I immediately agreed.
I see the award as a motivation to develop and promote feasible solutions in water research. Therefore, the focus lies on solutions that have already been applied successfully. If you look back on the winners since 2006, the high innovative degree and the practical relevance of the winning solutions are recognizable, even without much specific knowledge of water. I believe that it always is a difficult task for the jury to select the winning projects out of many high-quality applications.
I am looking forward to the Mülheim Water Award in 2018 and all the interesting projects, but I am especially looking forward to hand over the price to the winner of the coming year.