News & Events

Student Voices

Gage Marchini

Gage Marchini
Hometown: Bakersfield, CA
Major: Economics/Agriculture Business with a legal studies certificate

read more >

Home > News > King of Sweden to Present Stockholm Water Prize to International Water Law Expert McCaffrey
  • Print
  • Share
  • Questions
Stephen McCaffrey, trailblazer in international water law, wins 2017 Stockholm Water Prize

Distinguished Professor Stephen McCaffrey, trailblazer in international water law, wins 2017 Stockholm Water Prize

King of Sweden Presents Stockholm Water Prize to Professor McCaffrey

August 30, 2017

Tags: Business & Community, Centers of Distinction, Global Center, Faculty & Scholarship, Press Release, 2017

H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, Patron of Stockholm Water Prize, presented the 2017 Stockholm Water Prize to Distinguished Professor of Law Stephen McCaffrey, McGeorge School of Law, at the Royal Banquet in the Stockholm City Hall on 30 August, during the 2017 World Water Week in Stockholm. Professor McCaffrey  was named 2017 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate for his unparalleled contribution to the evolution and progressive realization of international water law.

Watch highlights of Professor McCaffrey's talk at the Stockholm Water Prize Symposium and the King of Sweden give Professor McCaffrey the 2017 Stockholm Water Prize here.

On the McGeorge faculty since 1977, Professor McCaffrey is the single most respected authority on International Water Law, and his work continues to influence scholars, legal practitioners and policy-makers and contribute to the sustainable and peaceful management of shared waters. He is the only lawyer to ever receive the prestigious Stockholm Water Prize. The announcement was made on March 22 at the annual UN-Water official World Water Day event in Durban, South Africa.  

On receiving news of the prize, Professor McCaffrey says: "Learning about the Stockholm Water Prize literally took my breath away. I am deeply honored and humbled to have been selected for this prestigious award. But one always stands on the shoulders of others, and I am most grateful to those who have paved the way for me."

In its citation, the Stockholm Water Prize Nominating Committee recognizes Professor McCaffrey's "path-breaking leadership and legal scholarship in international water law. He has made a unique contribution in three specific areas: his seminal work on Treaty negotiation; his major scholarly works, including his book The Law of International Watercourses and; his leadership providing expert legal advice, wise counsel, training and facilitation of complex negotiations with a wide range of stakeholders."

"International and environmental law have always been exciting to students and I am happy to be able to bring real-world experience in these fields to the classroom, especially since they will be practicing in an increasingly globalized and environmentally threatened world," said McCaffrey in his McGeorge faculty profile.

Professor McCaffrey has been acting as legal counsel to states in several negotiations concerning international watercourses. The cases include watercourses in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. Although he has experienced first-hand the potential conflict over freshwater resources, he remains an optimist, pointing to studies that have shown that shared fresh water is generally a catalyst for cooperation rather than conflict.

"I believe nobody who studies, researches or practises in the field of transboundary water management, water law or diplomacy could be unaware of Professor McCaffrey's contribution to the conceptual and practical elaboration of the many legal concepts and principles that we now take for granted," says Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) Executive Director Torgny Holmgren.

McGeorge School of Law is distinguished by the breadth and depth of the faculty's engagement with international and transnational law. Faculty scholarship influences policy and practice, and pedagogy promotes intercultural competence and exposes students to global issues right across the curriculum. U.S. News & World Report has ranked McGeorge's International Law program among the top programs in the country for the sixth year in a row, this year as No. 24 in the 2018 Best Graduate Schools guide.

For more on the Laureate, visit Past award winners represent a broad range of water-related activities, professions and disciplines from around the world. Watch a video interview with Professor McCaffrey about the announcement here. Learn more about World Water Week at