HM The King's speech at Stockholm Water Prize Award Ceremony
(The spoken version shall take precedence)
Ladies and gentlemen
For almost three decades now, I have had the great honour of presenting the Stockholm Water Prize – every year except for one.
Last year, I had to attend to other duties and my daughter, Crown Princess Victoria, was kind enough to replace me. I am certain she did an excellent job, but I do admit: I am glad to be back!
Ladies and gentlemen: Water is all around us, in different shapes and forms: Oceans and lakes. Glaciers and ice caps. Rivers and rain drops.
However, out of all the water on our planet, not even one percent is fresh water easily available to us humans. A tiny fraction!
At the same time, climate change and rapid population growth is making access to fresh water even more limited. Water crises and competition for water is already a reality for many, and will soon affect many more.
The theme of this year’s World Water Week is “Water for Society – Including All”. Who gets what water? When? And how? This is, in essence, a matter of justice – and of great urgency.
The Stockholm Water Prize is an important part of the World Water Week. It is an opportunity to honour outstanding water-related achievements, and to raise awareness about the sustainable use and protection of the world’s water resources.
I am proud to be Patron of the world’s most prestigious water award. And I know the Crown Princess is just as proud to be Patron of the Stockholm Junior Water Prize.
Ladies and gentlemen: Throughout the history of mankind, we have depended on rivers for our livelihood. But there is a delicate balance between environment and development.
This year’s laureate, Dr. Jackie King, has conducted ground-breaking research on river ecosystems and the social structures depending on healthy rivers.
Her methods have helped governments all over the world to make better informed decisions about the management and development of rivers.
This is an important contribution to one of the great global water challenges of our time. It is an honour to present Dr. King with the 2019 Stockholm Water Prize Award.