U.S. Water News Online
STOCKHOLM, Sweden — A British professor who introduced a concept that describes how vast volumes of water are consumed in food production won the 2008 Stockholm Water Prize.
Professor John Anthony Allan of King's College at the University of London, 71, will receive the US$150,000 (euro95,000) cash award and a symbolic glass sculpture during a ceremony in the Stockholm City Hall on Aug. 21.
The Stockholm International Water Institute praised Allan for creating the concept of "virtual water," which measures the amount of water embedded in the production of food and industrial products.
"Behind that morning cup of coffee, there are 140 liters (37 gallons) of water that was consumed to grow, produce, package, and ship the beans," the organization said in announcing the prize.
The citation honored Allan for his "pioneering" work in education and for raising global awareness about how water issues are linked to agricultural production, economics and politics.
"The improved understanding of trade and water management issues on local, regional and global scales are of the highest relevance for the successful and sustainable use of water resources," the citation said.
Allan has written and edited seven books and has published more than 100 papers in political science, natural resource management, and interdisciplinary water journals.
He has also served as a consultant for governments, the World Bank and the European Union.
The Stockholm Water Prize is awarded annually to individuals and institutions for making a substantial contribution to the preservation, enhancement or availability of the world's water resources.
First awarded in 1991, the prize was founded by several companies, including Fujitsu Siemens, General Motors Corp., Swedish Railways and the Water Environment Federation. Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf is the patron of the prize.
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