Freshwater author, communicator and thought leader Sandra Postel has been awarded the prestigious Stockholm Water Prize “for her long and outstanding work to make sense of complex water-related issues”, according to the Swedish International Water Institute (SIWI), which awards the annual prize in cooperation with the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
In its citation, the prize’s nominating committee said: “Sandra Postel is a world-leading authority on water scarcity and one of the world’s greatest water communicators and educators. No one has exhibited more commitment, capacity, courage, and perseverance to address far-ranging and critical water issues. Her work has been instrumental in shifting both public and professional awareness about the water crisis".
Postel (65), who is American, director of Global Water Policy Project and author of many articles and several books, including Replenish: The Virtuous Cycle of Water and Prosperity, said: “It is the honour of a lifetime and I am incredibly grateful. Water is the basis of life – and it is finite. Figuring out how to meet humanity’s needs for water while enabling freshwater ecosystems to thrive is now an existential challenge because those ecosystems support the web of life to which humanity belongs. We can all play a part in rising to this challenge.”
Awarded annually since 1991 to mark World Water Day, the Stockholm Water Prize is widely viewed as the “Nobel Prize for water". Although not part of the Nobel family, the award was modelled on the other Nobel prizes, says SIWI, “to ensure academic and professional excellence”.
Postel will receive her prize from Swedish King Carl Gustaf at a ceremony held in August as part of World Water Week