HM The King's speech at the Stockholm Water Prize Award Ceremony
(The spoken version shall take precedence)
Stockholm Water Prize Laureate,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In Sweden, the past few summers, large parts of our country experienced drought. It was a serious reminder that we cannot take water for granted.
This summer, another kind of extreme weather has been a challenge in northern Europe. In August, Storm Hans arrived with enormous amounts of water – leading to historic floods, transportation disruption and power cuts.
Yes, the summer of 2023 has weather-wise been memorable in many parts of the world. Water issues affect us in different ways, but for all of us, they are a matter of survival.
As Jacques Yves Cousteau said: “We forget that the water cycle and the life cycle are one.”
We have indeed great challenges ahead. To succeed in overcoming them, water will be a key factor. The Stockholm Water Prize recognizes – this year more than ever – visionary minds that drive water development forward. The laureates inspire us with their new ideas and ground-breaking innovation.
My own, personal, commitment to issues relating to environment and sustainability, has been life-long. An interest that I am pleased to share with my daughter, the Crown Princess, patron of the Stockholm Junior Water Prize. Young finalists and winners; you give us inspiration and hope. The creative and innovative ideas you have come up with to solve some of our most complicated problems are impressive.
In a world with growing uncertainty and climate crisis, all of you can contribute with solutions for a more sustainable future. To achieve lasting change, we need both science, innovation and leadership.
I would now like to turn to this year’s recipient of the Stockholm Water Prize, Professor Andrea Rinaldo.
Like few other scholars, you have pointed out the power and importance of water. You have increased our understanding of rivers as ecological corridors. Your research about water’s role in disease transmission has made a difference to countless people around the world.
Professor Rinaldo: Congratulations on your achievements! Thank you for your contributions to research and to global public health.
Thank you also to the President of the Stockholm City Council for hosting this banquet tonight, and to Stockholm International Water Institute for organizing yet another amazing World Water Week.
Ladies and gentlemen, I want to propose a toast:
May the Seeds of Change grow and give us the Water-Wise World that we want!