Celebrating excellence in water research

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Nominations Now Open for the Clarke Prize Award.

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2018 is the 25th Anniversary of
the Athalie Richardson Irvine Clarke Prize Award!

The Clarke Prize consists of a medallion and $50,000 prize.  It is one of only a dozen water prizes awarded worldwide, and has been distinguished as one of the most prestigious awards in the world.

The fields of interest of Clarke Prize nominees include, but are not limited to, civil and environmental engineering, water sciences, biological sciences, health sciences, political sciences, physical and chemical sciences, and planning and public policy.  A strong nominee must be:

  • Currently active in research that focuses on issues associated with water quality, quantity, technology, or public policy.
  • Currently practice within the United States.
  • Able to attend the 25th Annual Clarke Prize Award Ceremony, which will be held in early November 2018 in Southern California.
  • Able to deliver the Clarke Prize Lecture at the Award Ceremony.

The deadline to submit nominations has been extended to April 2, 2018, to accommodate the Easter holiday.  The recipient will be notified by June 2018.  To download the nomination procedures, please visit http://www.nwri-usa.org/nominations.htm.


  • Charles Haas

    Environmental engineer and microbiologist Charles Haas, Ph.D., was the twenty-fourth recipient of the NWRI Athalie Richardson Irvine Clarke Prize for Excellence in Water Research.

  • Irvine Marriott Hotel

    The 2017 Clarke Prize Conference and Award Ceremony was held at the Irvine Marriott Hotel

  • Videos of presentations from the Clarke Prize Conference and Award Ceremony are available on our YouTube channel.

  • The Clarke Prize is named after Mrs. Athalie Richardson Irvine Clarke, an Orange County philanthropist who was active in politics and co-founded NWRI. Her image is on the Clarke Medallion.

  • The Clarke Prize Medallion

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Keep up with the latest Clarke Prize conference and award ceremony news! Join our mailing list to receive timely announcements and updates by email.

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Become a
conference sponsor

Gold sponsors are invited to attend a private reception with the Clarke Laureates and receive a reserved table for eight at the award ceremony and dinner.

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for free

Professors, if you register for the Clarke Prize Conference, you will receive three (3) free conference registrations for students.

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conference volunteer

Students, are you interested in volunteering in exchange for attending the conference for free? We are seeking student volunteers to help us during the conference.

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Clarke Prize Supporters

Members of the Irvine Family at the 2012 Clarke
Prize Award Ceremony.

The Clarke Prize would not be possible without the vision and support of a very special group of people: the Irvine Family of Orange County, California. Through the Joan Irvine Smith and Athalie R. Clarke Foundation, the Irvine Family helped establish NWRI in 1991 and the Clarke Prize in 1994.

The Clarke Prize was named after Mrs. Athalie Richardson Irvine Clarke, a highly respected philanthropist who passed away in 1993. Fondly known as the "First Lady" of Orange County, California, Mrs. Clarke served on the White House preservation committee and participated in many other political activities. She and her daughter, Mrs. Joan Irvine Smith, ran the Irvine Ranch, one of California's most productive crop farms, and served on the board of trustees of the Irvine Company, a privately held real estate investment company with properties all throughout coastal California. Because of her ties to the land, Mrs. Clarke recognized the vital importance of water and strongly promoted better water science and technology.

As supporters of the Clarke Prize, the Foundation not only sponsors the award, but members of the Irvine family are actively involved with the award ceremony and dinner. The family has attended every Clarke Prize since 1994, presenting each winner with the Clarke Medallion and $50,000 check.

We are grateful to the Irvine Family and Joan Irvine Smith and Athalie R. Clarke Foundation for their outstanding support. Thank you for making the Clarke Prize one of the most esteemed water prizes in the world.

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