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For 30 years, the world’s most prestigious water award, the Stockholm Water Prize, has honoured women, men and organizations for extraordinary water-related achievements. Learn more about the history of the prize, the trailblazing laureates, and how you can nominate your water heroes.


The Stockholm Water Prize is an international water award presented annually since 1991. It started as part of the Stockholm Water Festival, which celebrated that the Swedish capital had managed to reach its goal of having some of the cleanest water in the world. When preparing the festivities, the idea was floated to also create a Nobel Prize for water.

Though the concept was later modified – the Stockholm Water Prize is not part of the Nobel family – the award was modelled on the other prizes to ensure academic and professional excellence. Stockholm Water Prize is awarded by SIWI in cooperation with the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and presented by the Swedish King H.M King Carl XVI Gustaf, who is the official patron of the Prize.

The winner of the Stockholm Water Prize is announced every year in March, usually in conjunction with World Water Day on 22 March. A royal prize ceremony is held as part of World Water Week in August, where the Laureate plays an important role. In addition to the global acknowledgement and visibility, the Stockholm Water Prize Laureate receives a specially designed sculpture and 1 million SEK.

Who can win the Stockholm Water Prize?

The Prize is awarded to a person or organization who contributes to the conservation and protection of water resources, and to the well-being of the planet and its inhabitants. All who have made extraordinary water-related achievements are eligible. Over the years, Stockholm Water Prize Laureates have represented a broad range of water-related activities, professions and scientific disciplines from all over the world.

Who can nominate?

Anyone can submit a nomination for the Stockholm Water Prize, however, self-nominations or nominations by persons with direct professional or family ties to the candidate are not permitted. Nominations for the 2022 Stockholm Water Prize are open, nominate here!

How is the Laureate selected?

The Stockholm Water Prize Nominating Committee goes through all the nominations and creates a shortlist, after which additional information is requested about shortlisted candidates. The Committee, which consists of world-leading experts from different academic fields, professions and geographical backgrounds, will thereafter select its top three candidates and submit this list to The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences for further review and recommendations. The final decision is eventually taken by the SIWI board.

Who has won the Stockholm Water Prize?

The first person to be presented with the Stockholm Water Prize back in 1991 was the Canadian ecologist Professor David W. Schindler, for important contributions to our understanding of the effects of organic pollutants and climate warming in lakes. Over the years, the Prize has been presented to outstanding thought leaders from many different fields and all parts of the world. Learn more about the laureates here.

Founders of the Stockholm Water Prize are (2021):

Ålandsbanken, Bacardi, Grundfos Foundation, Water Environment Federation, and Xylem Inc. 

Highlights from Stockholm Water Prize 2019 Award Ceremony





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