A research institute stands to win $1 million from Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai and vice president of the United Arab Emirates.

It’s no easy task, though. Al Maktoum is searching for a sustainable solution to solve the global water shortage. What’s more—he is requiring that solution to be powered by solar energy. He made the announcement this week at a reception for supporters and contributors to the UAE Water Aid campaign at Za’beel Palace.

Anybody who develops a sustainable solution to the global water shortage would be adored, but they would also be a millionaire, the ruler of Dubai said. Photo credit: Vinoth Chandar/Flickr Creative Commons
Anybody who develops a sustainable solution to the global water shortage would be adored, but they would also be a millionaire, the ruler of Dubai said. Photo credit: Vinoth Chandar/Flickr Creative Commons

“We are working on searching for durable and radical solutions to the problem of water scarcity using solar energy in the process of purification and desalination of water in needy areas around the world,” Sheikh Mohammed said, according to WAM Emirates News Agency. “Therefore, we invite all research institutions around the world to participate in a competition of $1 million to be awarded to people who can find sustainable, cheap and innovative solutions.”

The prize is up for grabs for institutions across the globe not just in the UAE. Sheikh Mohammed’s prize offering coincided with the establishment of UAE Water Aid Foundation, which aims to research and support the production of clean water that uses solar energy as a means to provide clean water to the millions who need it around the world.

“Water is the spirit of life and providing it for the needy is reviving millions of people,” Sheikh Mohammed said. “UAE Water Foundation will not differentiate between one person and another, so are all of our humanitarian works; such is the UAE humanitarian mission that lies in helping the afflicted, the needy and disadvantaged people all over the world without any distinction.”