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Freshwater thought leader Sandra Postel awarded 2021 Stockholm Water Prize

  • Freshwater thought leader Sandra Postel awarded 2021 Stockholm Water Prize
    Credit: SIWI

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SIWI is a leading expert in water governance. We are also a curator of change, championing water solutions for a just, prosperous, and sustainable future.


Sandra Postel is awarded the Stockholm Water Prize 2021 for her long and outstanding work to make sense of complex water-related issues. As an author and educator, she has made important contributions to the understanding of some of the greatest challenges of our time and shown that we have the power to find sustainable solutions.

Sandra Postel is a leading authority and prolific author and communicator on international water issues. She has been hailed for her inspiring, innovative, and practical approach to promoting the preservation and sustainable use of freshwater. Throughout her career, Postel has tackled complex water problems in her books, articles, and lectures, with an aim to make them comprehensible to a wide audience.

On being awarded the prize, Postel 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.”

In its citation, the Stockholm Water Prize 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.”

SIWI’s Executive Director Torgny Holmgren commented: “Sandra Postel has made invaluable contributions to our understanding of water, and thereby to our ability to shape a sustainable future.”

Sandra Postel directs the Global Water Policy Project. She has authored scores of articles, as well as several ground-breaking books, including Replenish: The Virtuous Cycle of Water and Prosperity. Her 1992 book, Last Oasis, appears in eight languages. From 2009-2015, she served as Freshwater Fellow of the National Geographic Society.

The Stockholm Water Prize is awarded by SIWI in cooperation with the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and will be presented by the Swedish King H.M King Carl XVI Gustaf on 25 August, during World Water Week.

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