Taikan Oki wins the 2024 Stockholm Water Prize

25 March 2024 – Taikan Oki, member of The Club of Rome, professor at the University of Tokyo and former Assistant Secretary General at the United Nations has won the 2024 Stockholm Water Prize based on his research on the virtual water trade, digital river mapping, and inclusion of human activity in the water cycle.

His work has contributed to a more sustainable management of water on a global scale, through more realistic and practical climate adaptation measures the inclusion of human activity in the water cycle, and a more accurate depiction of the world’s river flows. He was instrumental in developing a global river routing model for climate applications and global water resource assessment (the Total Runoff Integrating Pathways – TRIP system) currently used worldwide.  He was also the first to accurately measure the value of virtual water. His research led to a better understanding of food importation and its impact on the virtual water trade and water scarcity.

In its citation, the Stockholm Water Prize Nominating Committee states:

“Professor Taikan Oki’s work has greatly advanced our understanding of the nexus among hydrology, climate change and sustainability. Through numerical modelling of complex systems, he has demonstrated exceptional scholarship that provides important insights into how humans alter water, climate, and the biosphere. His major scientific contributions have shed light on ‘total water storage’ as a critical variable in water management and climate change. Professor Oki is selected for the award for his outstanding contributions to global water balance studies, global virtual water flows, and the spatial and temporal variability of annually renewable water.”

“I feel really moved and lucky to have won this award. I never thought that I could have gotten the prize myself. After getting this prize, I am eager to foster the younger generation and continue to contribute to the international academic community on hydrology. I also feel I must further contribute to solving the world’s water issues through research, like previous laureates.”

Taikan Oki

The Stockholm Water Prize is awarded by the Stockholm Water Foundation in cooperation with the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. The Prize will be presented to the Laureate Professor Oki by H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, the official patron of the Prize, on 28 August during World Water Week in Stockholm. Founding partners of the Stockholm Water Prize are Ålandsbanken, Bacardi, PDJ Foundation, WEF, and Xylem.

Read the full announcement here.

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