Big Water Ideas Presented at SJWP International Competition

September 19, 2013

Achievements, Featured

From left, Chilean team members Omayra Toro and Naomi Estay receive the 2013 Stokholm Junior Water Prize from  Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden. Photo courtesy of Cecilia Östberg, Exray.

From left, Chilean team members Omayra Toro and Naomi Estay receive the 2013 Stokholm Junior Water Prize from Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden. Photo courtesy of Cecilia Östberg, Exray.

Young scientists representing 28 countries gathered in Stockholm during World Water Week to compete at the 2013 Stockholm Junior Water Prize (SJWP) competition. The duo of Naomi Estay and Omayra Toro from Chile was named the winners of this year’s prize.

The Chilean team’s award-winning research describes how living organisms can help clean oil spills in extremely low temperatures, according to a Stockholm Water Institute (SIWI) news release. The team traveled to Antarctica and identified a dozen bacterial strains with this cleaning potential. The team received $5000 and a prize sculpture for the research.

“The knowledge developed has potentially widespread application,” said the SJWP jury in its citation. “It shows how we can learn from natural processes to solve modern problems. Rather than utilizing potentially toxic chemicals for remediation, the project identified a natural approach based on locally available biological resources.”

In addition, the team of Yeari Vigder and Noam Arye Nassi from Israel received a Diploma of Excellence. Their project proposes a plug-in and a smartphone application that deliver immediate field-condition feedback so farmers in developing countries can save water, the news release says.

Anirudh Jain of Portland, Ore., represented the United States at the international SJWP competition. Photo courtesy of Oscar Einzig Photography.

Anirudh Jain of Portland, Ore., represented the United States at the international SJWP competition. Photo courtesy of Oscar Einzig Photography.

Jain (right) presents his project to Eileen O’Neill (center), WEF Interim Executive Director, at the international SJWP competition. WEF photo/Stevi Hunt-Cottrell.

Jain (right) presents his project to Eileen O’Neill (center), WEF Interim Executive Director, at the international SJWP competition. WEF photo/Stevi Hunt-Cottrell.

Anirudh Jain from Portland, Ore., represented the U.S. at the competition. His project, “Sulfidation as a Novel Method To Reduce Toxicity of Silver Nanoparticle Pollution,” identifies sulfidation as a means to reduce silver nanoparticle pollution in wastewater. He will have the opportunity to present his research at WEFTEC® 2013, to be held Oct. 5 to 9 in Chicago.

SJWP is administered by SIWI and sponsored by Xylem Inc. (White Plains, N.Y.). The Water Environment Federation (Alexandra, Va.) sponsors the U.S. SJWP with support from Xylem Inc. The Pacific Northwest Clean Water Association (Hansen, Idaho) hosted the 2013 U.S. competition and sponsored Jain.

 

Jennifer Fulcher, WEF Highlights

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