"Virtual Water" Innovator Awarded 2008 Stockholm Water Prize

    STOCKHOLM, Sweden, March 19 /CNW/ - Professor John Anthony Allan from
King's College London and the School of Oriental and African Studies, a
pioneer of concepts key to the understanding and communication of water issues
and how they are linked to agriculture, climate change, economics and
politics, was named the 2008 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate.

    (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080319/297850)

    People do not only consume water when they drink it or take a shower. In
1993, Prof. Allan made a major breakthrough in how to demonstrate this by
introducing "virtual water," a measurement of the water that is embedded in
the production of foods and consumer products. Behind that morning cup of
coffee, there are 140 litres of water that was consumed to grow, produce,
package, and ship the beans. That is roughly equal to the amount of water used
by an average person in England for all their daily drinking and household
needs. One hamburger holds some 2,400 litres. An average American consumes
over 6,000 litres of virtual water every day; over triple the average Chinese.
    These insights gained through Prof. Allan's work have made major impacts
on global trade policy and research and has redefined discourse in water
policy and management. Water intensive commodities can be traded from places
where high returns to water can be achieved to economies that cannot produce
as efficiently.
    This has influenced national water and trade policies and has significant
implications for balancing global water resources. Application of the virtual
water concept provides the potential to use trade to alleviate regional water
scarcity and make water resources use more efficient. This both improves
capacity for sustainable management of global water resources for future
generations and reduces the risk that nations go to war over scarce water
    Prof. Allan, a prolific author and educator, is a leading expert on
global water resources, conflict resolution, and the Middle East and North
Africa region. He has been described as one of the most influential thinkers
in the water sector today.

    The Stockholm Water Prize, presented annually by the Stockholm Water
Foundation, is worth USD 150,000. The prize will be presented during the World
Water Week in Stockholm, on August 21 in the Stockholm City Hall. H.M. King
Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden is the Patron of the Stockholm Water Prize.

For further information:

For further information: visit http://www.siwi.org Or contact: David
Trouba, +46(0)73-914-39-89, dave.trouba@siwi.org

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Stockholm International Water Institute

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