CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A couple from South Carolina will be the first Americans to receive a highly distinguished global science award for their work in sustainable safe water solutions.
George and Molly Greene will be awarded the SolarWorld Einstein Award at a ceremony in Frankfurt, Germany Tuesday evening. The couple founded Water Missions International, a non-profit Christian engineering organization that provides clean water solutions to disaster victims worldwide.
WMI also provides safe water solutions in 49 developing countries.
This is the eighth year the Einstein Award has been given, and its previous winners include the likes of 2010 Nobel Prize winner Professor Muhammed Yunus, inventor of micro credit, and other pioneers.
The Greenes sold the Charleston-based environmental engineering company in 2001 to open Water Missions International, and have since responded to every major natural disaster over the past 11 years.
The couple got the idea for Water Missions International after assisting with Hurricane Mitch victims in Honduras in 1998.
"As with all natural disasters, the most urgent need was safe drinking water," says Molly Greene. "We were unable to find water systems we thought would be effective and sustainable and we are committed to providing the people with a safe water solution that would last long after we came home to South Carolina."
Along with receiving the award, SolarWorld will also donate around 400 solar panels to Water Missions International for the company the organization to use world-wide.
The Greenes plan to build a Global Water Center where professionals can come for research and training to assist in solving the world's water problems. The international headquarters will be located here in Charleston, SC.