Dr. Aditi Mukherji is one of the world’s premier researchers in groundwater resources and water management policy. In 2012 she was the recipient of the inaugural Norman Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application, an honor given by the World Food Prize Foundation to recognize researchers under 40 who emulate the scientific innovation and dedication demonstrated by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dr. Norman Borlaug. Mukherji’s fieldwork has led to policy enactments in her home country of India that have allowed thousands of farmers more universal access to groundwater for irrigation. Her research has the potential to change the way individuals, communities and countries earn their livelihoods and help them emerge from economic hardship. Her expertise, combined with her interest in the social aspects of policy, make her invaluable to the global water community.
Mukherji works at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development in Nepal, where she leads scientists in water and climate change research in the Hindu-Kush Himalayas. At the 2013 Water for Food Conference, she will participate in a “Research in Action” panel discussion; her fellow panelists represent the University of Nebraska, the Indian Agricultural Research Institute and the International Water Management Institute in South Africa.
“Access to reliable, affordable and timely irrigation are very powerful tools of poverty alleviation,” Mukherji said when she was announced as the Borlaug award winner. “What truly inspires me is the impact that one’s research can make on the lives of the poor by providing more food on their table.”