About the prize

The Clarke Prize is awarded annually to thought leaders in water research, science, technology, or policy.

Clarke Prize nominees and laureates are from wide-ranging disciplines including civil and environmental engineering, water science, biological science, health science, political science, physical and chemical science, and public planning and policy. These people are focused on water quality, quantity, technology, or public policy.

Recipients receive a medal and $50,000 US.

Joan Irvine Smith and
Athalie Richardson Irvine Clarke


"Nothing is more important than the careful stewardship and development of our water resources." NWRI's co-founder, Athalie Richardson Irvine Clarke said these important words because she recognized the vital importance of water in Southern California.

Since the prize was established more than 25 years ago, the Joan Irvine Smith and Athalie R. Clarke Foundation has supported some of the most influential people in the water industry.

NWRI continues to carry out the founder's vision through the Clarke Prize, fellowships, and its work with independent advisory panels.

Joan Irvine Smith

Athalie Richardson Irvine Clarke

National Water Research Institute

18700 Ward St., Fountain Valley, CA  92708 • email us

We are a 501c3 nonprofit organization that works to ensure safe, reliable sources of water now and for future generations.