South Africa’s Dr Jackie King has been named as the Stockholm Water Prize Laureate for her groundbreaking contributions to global river management.
Her work has provided tools to decision makers allowing them to quantify the real costs and benefits of developing river systems as well as advancing the scientific understanding of water flows.
In response to receiving the prize, Dr King had the following to say: “I find it humbling, energising and rewarding. I have never sought high-profile jobs but was happy to be a working scientist, free to say what I felt needed to be said.”
Dr King, while a researcher at the University of Cape Town, and later as an Honorary Professor at the University of the Western Cape led the development of the tools for river management.
Her work in conjunction with her colleagues created methods to show the ecological and social implications of damming and de-watering rivers.
“Dr Jacqueline King has, through scientific rigour, selfless dedication and effective advocacy, transformed the way we think, talk and work with water as a flow of and for life,” commented the nominating committee.
Dr King explains the impact of the tools she developed with her team as follows:
“Governments developing their water resources understand the potential benefits but not necessarily the costs in terms of degrading rivers. We can now show these ecological and social costs at a similar level of detail to the benefits shown by planners. It is a new kind of information to help governments better understand the trade-offs involved in development as they decide on their preferred future.”
Dr King will be presented with her by prize by H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, Patron of Stockholm Water Prize. The Royal Award Ceremony will take place on the 28th of August in Stockholm to coincide with World Water Week.
Torgny Holmgren, Executive Director at SIWI, comments that “Dr King has helped decision-makers understand that healthy river ecosystems are not a luxury, but the basis for sustainable development.” added Torgny Holmgren, Executive Director at SIWI.
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