HM The King's speech at Stockholm Water Prize ceremony
(The spoken version shall take precedence)
The Stockholm Water Prize is the world's most prestigious prize for outstanding achievements in water related activities.
I remember the discussions when it all began more than 20 years ago. The idea was to establish a Water Prize as well as organizing a Water Symposium. Today we can see the result and what a good idea it turned out to be.
This year, the World Water Week focuses on "Water and Food Security". Agriculture is the largest consumer of freshwater by far. About 70% of all freshwater go to irrigated agriculture.
As a farmer myself I am fully aware that fresh water is a precious resource in many parts of the world. Today's usage does not always take in to consideration the needs of the future.
This morning, I personally attended a seminar where the Stockholm Water Prize Laureates came together and discussed how to reach a food and water secure future. The title of the seminar was: "Food for Billions: The Need for a Holistic View".
Earth's resources are wasted, and, in most developed countries we take water for granted. We let it flow uncontrolled from the taps without a second thought. However, it does not take much to realize how dependent we are.
Some of the issues that were raised at the seminar were: Will the supply of water and energy be able to meet demand. And what technical developments will be required to produce more food with less water?
I found it very interesting to listen to the different issues focusing on the same problems. We must believe in all the possibilities we have to work for a sustainable future for the next generation. World water week is a truly international event where water researchers come together to find common solutions to global challenges.
All your work is very important to all of us! I wish you all success in the future.
With these words I would like to thank you for an interesting seminar today and a delicious dinner tonight.