HM The King's speech at Stockholm Water Prize Award

(The spoken version shall take precedence)

Dear laureates,
Ladies and Gentlemen.

For 30 years, the Stockholm Water Prize, has honoured women, men and organizations for extraordinary water-related achievements.

Through the years, I have had the privilege to present the prize to some of the world’s most renowned authorities on conservation and protection of water resources. And I am very proud to be the official patron of this prestigious award.

Today we honour two year’s laureates: Dr. John Cherry and Ms Sandra Postel.

The 2020 Stockholm Water Prize laureate, Dr John Cherry, is a champion of the world’s most threatened and forgotten water resource: our groundwater.

Since groundwater is out of sight, it is often also out of mind. Still, we all depend on it:

  • Most of the planet’s freshwater is in fact groundwater.
  • Nearly half of the world’s population use groundwater for drinking – and it contributes to about half of the global food production.
  • With climate change, groundwater will be even more important as a buffer against weather extremes.

Already in the 1970s, Dr Cherry raised the alarm that the world’s groundwater was becoming increasingly contaminated.

His pioneering work has lead to a paradigm shift in groundwater research, as well as new solutions and concrete methods to monitor and control contaminated groundwater.

We need tireless and passionate advocates for groundwater protection. Thank you, Dr Cherry, for your contributions.

Ladies and gentlemen. One of the most encouraging trends in recent years is how more people seem to value nature and to see the importance of conservation. The 2021 Stockholm Water Prize laureate, Ms Sandra Postel, has greatly contributed to this.

Through articles, videos, books, and documentaries she has become one of the world’s most influential science communicators. Thanks to her, students, decision-makers, and the public have learned about the role of water – for both nature and society.

As a leading authority on freshwater issues, Ms Postel has made more people aware of the many challenges we face when it comes to global water management. Yet, her message is often quite optimistic and always inspiring.

In recent years she has focused on sharing examples of how water can be managed in a more sustainable manner. I am convinced that we need this kind of innovative thinking more than ever. Thank you, Ms Postel, for your contributions.

Dear laureates - Professor Cherry and Ms Postel: my warmest congratulations on your outstanding achievements!

I wish you both the best of luck in the future.

Thank you.