The importance of water and wastewater treatment processes in saving lives and maintaining health in both developed and developing countries cannot be over emphasized. The U.S. and all developed countries greatly suffered from water borne diseases until advances in water and wastewater treatment began emerging in the early 20th century. Water borne diseases still afflict approximately 30 % of the world’s population, primarily in developing countries.

Ron has been a major contributor to solving water and wastewater problems. His teaching of young engineers as well as research and outreach with international organizations has been recognized by many working in the field of environmental engineering. Dr. Droste’s most significant contribution to the field is his undergraduate textbook Theory and Practice of Water and Wastewater Treatment (1997). The book has been extensively used around the world. A new edition of this popular text book (co-authored with Dr. R. Gehr,) was published in September 2018. He also served as editor and contributor to the monograph Water Supply and Sanitation in Developing Countries.

Many of his research contributions have focused on biological wastewater treatment with modelling applications. He has published over 160 refereed journal and conference papers, among other reports and conference presentations, and co-authored a patent on anaerobic digestion. He served as president of the Canadian Association on Water Quality (a branch of the International Water Association). Ron has advised many agencies in the U.S. and Canada as well as The World Bank, International Development Research Centre, and the Canadian International Development Agency at the international level on a variety of projects. He currently is collaborating with Nankai University in China with students and professors on a wide range of water and wastewater topics. Ron has consulted with Camp, Dresser, McKee (now CDM Smith) and Water Research Centre (WRc, UK) as an advisor on development of software for design of wastewater treatment works. An extensive number of wastewater treatment options are included in the software. The software is now available as freeware from WRc.

Dr. Droste is an emeritus professor in the department of Civil Engineering at the University of Ottawa where he has been a faculty member since 1978 in the area of environmental engineering. He also served as Department Chair. Professor Droste holds a BASc from the University of Notre Dame as well as MASc and PhD degrees from the University of Windsor.

Ron was awarded the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering (CSCE) 1975 Keefer Medal for the best paper on a civil engineering topic for his Master’s work on urban storm water pollution. In 2005 Dr. Droste received the CSCE’s Albert E. Berry Medal for his significant contributions to the field of environmental engineering in Canada. In 2008 he became a fellow of CSCE.

World Water Watch will continue to benefit from Ron’s guidance and support.