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 honor 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 groundbreaking 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.
A Pew Scholar in Conservation and the Environment and a Fellow of the Post Carbon Institute, Sandra has been named one of the Scientific American 50, an award recognizing contributions to science and technology. She has served as advisor to the Division on Earth and Life Studies of the U.S. National Research Council, as well as to American Rivers. She currently serves on the board of River Network.
Sandra received a B.A. (summa cum laude) in geology and political science at Wittenberg University and an M.E.M. with emphasis on resource economics and policy at Duke University. She has been awarded several honorary Doctor of Science degrees, as well as the Duke University School of Environment’s Distinguished Alumni Award.
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.
As part of Xylem’s commitment to solving water and advancing sustainability, the company is a proud partner of SIWI and one of the founders of the Stockholm Water Prize. Xylem is also the founding global sponsor of the Stockholm Junior Water Prize and aims to ignite the next generation of STEM professionals and water stewards to develop innovative solutions to water challenges.
For more information: www.siwi.org/prizes
Get the latest news and updates from Making Waves.
Making Waves is news from Xylem, a leading global water technology company. Xylem's solutions include products and services that move, treat, analyze and monitor water.