AT THE WATER Research Foundation’s Annual Subscriber Appreciation Breakfast held on June 9 in conjunction with ACE14 in Boston, I was given the honor of announcing the new name of WRF’s Research
Per the Board of Trustees’ approval, the Foundation renamed the award, the Dr. Pankaj Parekh
Research Innovation Award. Dr. Parekh was a passionate and dedicated supporter of the Foundation—
contributing his knowledge and expertise to numerous research planning and project development
efforts through his work on advisory committees as well as guiding the Foundation at an organizational
level through service on the Board of Trustees.
But Dr. Parekh’s influence extended well beyond the Foundation—he was a tireless, life-long advocate
for ensuring safe drinking water to protect public health on an international scale. Dr. Parekh dedicated
28 years to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), serving in various roles including
the Manager of Water Quality Regulatory Affairs for 10 years and the Director of Water Quality for 14
years. Prior to his service with the LADWP, Dr. Parekh spent 13 years working to improve public health
by addressing a variety of environmental and drinking water challenges in Africa.
In 2011, Dr. Parekh was badly injured in a motorcycle accident on his way to work at LADWP. He fought with incredible determination to overcome his injuries and was eventually able to return to work; however, in January of 2014, he succumbed to injuries
sustained in the motorcycle accident and passed away.
I was lucky to know Dr. Parekh as our professional paths often crossed in California and because we served as WRF Trustees
together. When I first met Dr. Parekh over 20 years ago, he helped me navigate the significant challenges of delivering safe, clean
water every day to our communities. He was a mentor and a friend, and he was a vibrant example of the dedicated civil servant
many of us in the water community aspire to be.
Dr. Parekh was passionate about credible research and active collaboration. He believed, like I do, that only by working together
to advance the science of water, can we overcome the challenges facing us today and into the future.
It is the Water Research Foundation’s intention that the Dr. Pankaj Parekh Research Innovation Award will serve as a reminder
of the limitless possibilities and important work we can accomplish by working collectively.
Together, we are one water.
In Honor of Dr. Pankaj Parekh
Chair, Board of Trustees
THE 2014 DR. Pankaj Parekh Research Innovation Award, which honors researchers and research teams who have made significant contributions to advancing
the science of water through Foundation-sponsored research, was presented to
Issam N. Najm, PhD, PE, President, Water Quality & Treatment Solutions, Inc.
Congratulations to Dr. Najm.