Ladies and gentlemen,
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.