Writing about water management has a prize
- The article written by the journalist Raquel Montenegro for the newspaper Europa Sur on the transformation of the coastline of Algeciras has been chosen as the winner of the 6th Aqualia’s Journalism Prize, worth 3,000 euros and a commemorative trophy
- For the first and second accessits, the jury selected the articles published by Vanesa de la Cruz in El Colombiano and Eva González for El Confidencial. The special mentions went to Rubén Ortega, Hugo Kukla and David Pajuelo (RTVE) and Eva Rodríguez (SINC)
- The awards ceremony took place this morning at the headquarters of the Madrid Press Association (APM)
The report by journalist Raquel Montenegro "Clean Water for Algeciras" on the end of dumping on the coastline of Algeciras, the proper treatment of wastewater and the transformation that all this has meant for this area of the city, has won the 6th Aqualia’s Journalism Award. Félix Parra, CEO of Aqualia, presented the award at a ceremony held this morning at the headquarters of the Madrid Press Association (APM). "Without journalism, water sector would not have a voice to point out the relevant issues for the citizens. At Aqualia we are aware of this value and that is the reason why we are promoting these Awards", said Aqualia's CEO during his speech.
The jury chose Montenegro's work for its quality, its informative approach, and its usefulness to the public. According to the jury, "she explains, with clear writing and understandable language, a complex project, far from technicalities and under an impartial approach, close to all audiences, which facilitates the overall understanding of the information".
The first accessit went to Vanesa de la Cruz for her article "Water: increasingly scarce and not very renewable" for El Colombiano. The Colombian journalist received the award from Luis de Lope, Aqualia's International Director. Eva González, with her article for El Confidencial "We are going to fill the car's tank with pig slurry", received the second accessit from Miguel Ángel Noceda, president of the Spanish Federation of Press Associations (FAPE).
The members of the jury also decided to award two additional special mentions, each with a cash prize of 1,000 euros. These went to the report "The tank that fights the storm”, produced for RTVE by Rubén Ortega, Hugo Kukla and David Pajuelo; and to the journalist Eva Rodríguez for "21st century irrigation workers who "sow" water to adapt to the climate crisis” for SINC.
The total prize money for Aqualia’s Journalism Award amounts to 8,000 euros, of which 3,000 euros will go to the winner, 1,500 euros to each of the accessits and 1,000 euros to each of the honourable mentions.
Aqualia’s Journalism Award aims to highlight the importance of the end-to-end water cycle management in the daily lives of citizens. In addition, the award recognises the work of journalists who contribute through their work to increasing the culture of water as a scarce and precious resource. In the sixth edition of the competition, aimed at journalistic works published in Spanish and, for the first time, Colombian media, 49 works were submitted in print and/or digital media.
The awards ceremony, presented by Aqualia's Director of Communication and CSR, Juan Pablo Merino, was held once again this year at the headquarters of the Madrid Press Association (APM). The event featured a speech by Miguel Ángel Noceda, recently elected as the new president of the Spanish Federation of Journalists Associations, who reflected on the role of journalism today in the water sector. In this regard, Noceda emphasised: "sustainability, a term that is so fashionable, must be put into practice in order to obtain results, so that it does not remain a mere purpose. Journalism plays a fundamental role in this".
At the end of the ceremony, Aqualia encouraged the journalists to participate in the 7th edition of the competition, the rules of which will be published soon.
Water management, a journalistic asset
Throughout these six editions, Aqualia's journalistic competition has become a benchmark for journalism on water management. The increasing number of entries submitted shows the growing importance of environmental issues and those related to water, in the media.
In the first edition of the competition, the jury chose the journalist Tomás Díaz as the winner for an article published in the newspaper El Economista entitled "Sewerage canon to rise by 50 % and make bills more expensive". In the second edition, the first prize went to journalist Francisco Jiménez of Diario Sur for his article " A constant drip in the middle of a drought”. In 2018, Aqualia’s Journalism Award went to Jorge García Badía, journalist from La Verdad de Murcia, for his article "Municipal water service loses 300,000 euros a year due to network frauds". In 2019, the article "In the eco and odourless car that runs with Chiclana's poo" published by journalist Paco Rego in El Mundo won the 4th Aqualia’s Journalism Award. In the fifth and last edition, in the middle of the pandemic, the article "Hunting for a resurgence of coronavirus in Salamanca's wastewater " published by journalist Rosa María Domínguez in La Gaceta de Salamanca was the winner.