On September 19, at the River Symposium and Environmental Flows Conference in Brisbane, Australia, the San Antonio River was recognized by the International RiverFoundation as the recipient of this year’s Thiess International Riverprize Award.
The Theiss International Riverprize, presented by the International RiverFoundation, is the world’s foremost award in river basin management. It recognizes and rewards organizations making waves in the sustainable management of the world’s rivers, whether at the grassroots or transboundary level. The prize rewards inspiring initiatives that demonstrate Integrated River Basin Management to restore and protect rivers, wetlands, lakes and estuaries.
The San Antonio River was recognized in part for the having invested $530 million on improvements which include the San Antonio River Improvements Project (SARIP) which added flood management, amenities, ecosystem restoration and recreational improvements to over 13 miles of the San Antonio River. The famous 15-mile San Antonio River Walk – a world-leading example of inspiring urban park design and prosperous riverfront development was also highlighted for connecting over 2,000 acres of public park land and attracting over 11.5 million visitors annually, pumping $3.1 billion into the local economy. The work to improve water quality throughout the entire basin was also mentioned as a contributing factor in the selection process.
The San Antonio River was one of four finalists in the 2017 Thiess International Riverprize, facing close competition from Alaska’s Nushagak and Kvichak Rivers, the United Kingdom’s River Tweed, and the Pasig River in the Philippines. Past winners include the Niagara River, Lake Eyre Basin and the Rhine River. For more information about the International RiverFoundation and the International Riverprize award, click here.