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Junior Water Prize finalists head to Stockholm

Junior Water Prize finalists head to Stockholm

There is no shortage of amazing ideas and research in the finalist projects for this year’s Stockholm Junior Water Prize. From radiation-monitoring robots to technology that would produce fish protein out of thin air, it will be difficult for the jury to decide on August 25 which project will receive the $15,000 award.

The Stockholm Junior Water Prize is held every year to increase awareness, interest and knowledge of water and the environment. Competing finalists, aged 15 to 20 years old, will be coming to Stockholm next week from 29 countries. These finalists have beat out thousands of competitors in their home countries, and must now present their findings to the Stockholm Junior Water Prize jury.

The finalist projects take on a wide array of issues, including monitoring water pollution, improving wastewater treatment, and finding innovative ways to conserve water. Organized by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), the event is now in its 19th year. Xylem is proud to be the global sponsor. Here are a few highlights from this year’s entrants:

A blue battery

The delegation from The Netherlands, Eline Jagtenberg, Lotte van der Velde and Mei Nelissen, has found a way to create a “blue battery.” Their process involves reversing solar and wind energy into chemical energy using electro dialysis. When needed, the chemical energy is transformed into electrical energy. This makes it possible to store sustainable energy.

Radiation-seeking robot

Oleksandr Makhnov from the Ukraine has developed an overwater robot that can be used to survey and map radiation-polluted water. This can help prevent radioactive substances from getting inside humans through food and drinks, since people will be better able to monitor potential sources of radiation-polluted water.

Fish protein from thin air

In the United Kingdom, water prize finalists Renatus Groothoff and Sebastian Groothoff have found a new way to make fish protein. Overfishing in the world’s oceans is a huge problem, and even fish farms use wild fish for 50 percent of their fish feed. Instead, the UK team theorizes that people could harvest the four main elements of all biological molecules directly from the air or water, turning these into fish protein.

Low-cost water recycling

The delegation from Bangladesh, Labib Tazwar Rahman, Navid Haider, Sheikh Rifayet and Daiyan Srijon, have investigated how a low-cost recycling system for rainwater and household grey-water could help reduce groundwater depletion in Dhaka. They found that the treatment of these two water sources, carried out in a very small area in the basement of each urban building, could cut annual groundwater dependence in half.

Check back on August 25 to find out who won! Read more about the Stockholm Junior Water Prize.

by Simon