Dr Tobias Barnard

Head: Water and health research unit, University of Johannesburg

When it comes to water research there are few people in South Africa with greater knowledge than Dr Tobias Barnard. The 33- year-old scientist heads the first department in the country devoted to using the PCR method for testing the bacteria in water � a process that has become critical in assisting the government during outbreaks of diarrhoea. A founding member of the Southern African Young Water Professionals, Dr Barnard is passionate about water conservation and education. He knows that, with South Africa being among the 30 driest countries in the world, we each have a role to play in keeping this precious resource safe. As part of his ongoing research, in the coming years Dr Barnard hopes to assist his students in setting up small businesses catering for specific needs in the water sector. In some ways, the future of South Africa depends on it. � Eric Axelrod

Website: wisa.org.za/ywp