EPCR is delighted to congratulate Board member, Professor Andrea Rinaldo, the world-renowned hydrologist, who has been awarded the Stockholm Water Prize 2023 – often described as the Nobel Prize of Water.

The prize recognises Rinaldo’s groundbreaking research into river networks, demonstrating their significance in the spread of solutes, aquatic species and diseases.

Rinaldo is a leading authority on hydrologic sciences and Professor of Hydrology and Water Resources at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne and at the University of Padua. His work for which he has been awarded the Stockholm Water Prize unearthed key understandings of rivers as ecological corridors, with the models he has created for water’s role in disease transmission being applied to real-world hotspots of diseases such as cholera and schistosomiasis in Haiti, South Sudan and Burkina Faso, linking fundamental research to reality.

On being awarded the Stockholm Water Prize, Rinaldo said: “I am both humbled and proud to follow in the footsteps of the previous laureates, especially those I know (or knew and miss sorely) and admire wholeheartedly, and I am very grateful to the Committee of the Stockholm International Water Institute and the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences for its selection and chosen motivation.”

EPCR Chairman, Dominic McKay, added: “We are extremely proud of Andrea for being awarded this prestigious recognition of his significant work in the area of hydrology. It is a massive honour for him, and we similarly are honoured to be in the company of a Stockholm Water Prize Laureate Professor on our Board.”

A former Italy international second row, Rinaldo says his work ethic was born on the rugby pitch. He honed his skills while at the University of Padua and went on to represent the Azzurri including against the All Blacks – “one of the best games we’ve ever had,” he says.

Although a knee injury at 24 ended his rugby career, Rinaldo has continued to remain very involved in the sport alongside his extensive academic career. He has served on the board of the Italian Rugby Federation (FIR) since 2004, and on the boards of both EPCR and its predecessor, ERC, for over a decade, and was appointed to the organisation’s Executive Committee in 2019. He now heads up EPCR’s Sporting and Tournaments Committee, focusing on the development and enhancement of the Heineken Champions Cup and the EPCR Challenge Cup.

The Stockholm Water Prize has been awarded every year since 1991 to an individual or institution for extraordinary water-related achievements. Over the years, the Prize has recognised groundbreaking ideas related to wastewater treatment, river management, water-borne disease, groundwater contamination, climate change impacts and more, with work of every recipient fundamentally improving the understanding and management of water.

The Stockholm Water Prize is awarded by the Stockholm International Water Institute in cooperation with the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. The Prize will be presented to the Professor Rinaldo by HM King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, official patron of the Prize, on 23 August during World Water Week.