It all started with a party. In 1991, the city of Stockholm decided to throw a public water festival to celebrate that it was again possible to fish and swim in the middle of the city. Just a couple of decades earlier, the Swedish capital had been known for notoriously polluted waters but now they were among the world’s cleanest.

In a recognition of the research behind this achievement, the world’s leading water scientists were invited to a special Stockholm Water Symposium as part of the festival and plans were made to create a Nobel Prize for water.

The symposium lives on as World Water Week, which has evolved into the world’s leading annual meeting place to discuss freshwater issues. The Stockholm Water Prize has established itself as the most prestigious award in the realm of water. It is not part of the Nobel prize family but modeled on the other prizes and presented by the Swedish King, H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf, who is patron of the prize.

Stockholm International Water Institute eventually became an independent foundation with activities across the world. We continue to develop and share knowledge, but also work as advisors to cities, countries, and companies on good management of water.