First "World Water Masters Award" to Farouk El-Baz From the International Desalination Association and $10,000 for One Groundwater Well in Darfur in his Honor

Contact: Mary Tunney, 617-353-4198 |

(Boston) – Dr. Farouk El-Baz, Director of the Center for Remote Sensing and Research Professor in the Boston University College of Engineering, received the inaugural “World Water Masters Award” from the International Desalination Association (IDA).

The award was presented in Dubai at the opening ceremony of the 2009 IDA 2009 conference, under the theme of “Desalination for a Better World”. The IDA stated that the award was to acknowledge Dr. El-Baz’s outstanding achievements in science, provision of water and humanitarian endeavors. It was handed by HRH Sh. Majid Al Maktoum, chairman of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority in the presence of 1,350 delegates from around the world. A video was shown that summarized Dr. El-Baz’s career and his pioneering work in the application of satellite images to Earth study.

In addition to the award, the IDA recognized Dr. El-Baz’s pioneering the location of water resources in the deserts, particularly in the Darfur region of Sudan. The IDA Foundation donated 10,000 US dollars for a groundwater well in Darfur to be named in Dr. El-Baz’s honor. It will be part of the humanitarian effort of “1,000 Wells for Darfur”, which he initiated. Provision of water would alleviate the tragic humanitarian crisis and assure the potential of sustainable development in the troubled Darfur region.

Dr. El-Baz, a veteran of NASA’s Apollo program of lunar exploration, is a pioneer in applying space images in the fields of geology, geography and archaeology. Under his direction, the Boston University Center for Remote Sensing was selected in 1997 by NASA as a “Center of Excellence in Remote Sensing.”

Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized institution of higher education and research. With more than 30,000 students, it is the fourth largest independent university in the U.S. It has 17 colleges and schools and a number of multi-disciplinary centers and institutes, which are central to its research and teaching mission.