The awarding committee cited IWMI’s extraordinary contribution to the development of “new policies and investments in agriculture that have not only enabled more productive use of water, but have enhanced food security, economic development and environmental health around the world.”
The Stockholm Water Prize is the “world’s most prestigious prize given for outstanding achievements in water-related research activities.” It honors individuals, institutions or organizations whose work contributes broadly to the conservation and protection of water resources, and also to improved health of the planet’s inhabitants and ecosystems.
“I am absolutely delighted that the International Water Management Institute has been awarded this year’s Stockholm Water Prize,” said Colin Chartres, IWMI’s director general. “It is an incredible honor for all of us and I’d like to thank the award committee for recognizing IWMI’s work with such a high-profile accolade.”
Chartres also paid tribute to everyone, past and present, who had worked for IWMI.
“The real winners are IWMI’s dedicated staff members and partners who, for just over a quarter of a century, have consistently delivered scientific research of the highest quality,” Chartres said. “This work has had a profound influence on water management policy throughout the globe, delivering real benefits for some of the poorest people on earth. Likewise our success would not have been possible without our donors. I hope that they can feel justly proud of the investments they have made in time, expertise and money that have led to this achievement.”
Roberto Lenton, director of the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute at the University of Nebraska, helped establish IWMI and served as its director general from 1987 to 1994. Under his leadership, IWMI grew from a small project-based organization to a major institute employing more than 300 people in 10 countries with an annual budget of over $10 million.
“On this World Water Day, I am thrilled by the news that the International Water Management Institute has been awarded the 2012 Stockholm Water Prize,” Lenton said. “IWMI has become without doubt the leading international institution in agricultural water management, and the prize is a just recognition of IWMI’s many contributions to the field, including its recent path-breaking Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture. I have written to IWMI’s director general to congratulate him and his colleagues, and look forward to welcoming him to the University of Nebraska very soon.”