2014 Stockholm Junior Water Prize winner announced

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STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN, September 4, 2014 -- The Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) announced that Hayley Todesco from Canada has received the 2014 Stockholm Junior Water Prize for inventing a method that uses sand filters to treat oil contaminated water and recover water for reuse.

H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden presented the prize to Todesco at an award ceremony on Wednesday, Sept. 3, during World Water Week (WWW) held in the city of Stockholm, Sweden.

The winning entry is a new application of an old water treatment technology that dates back to 1804. Sand filters have traditionally been used to treat drinking water, but Todesco instead used slow sand filters on contaminated water in oil sands tailing ponds. The method proved to treat wastewater at a faster rate than typical processes, as the sand filters grow bacteria that effectively break down toxic waste.

"I got the idea of using sand filters from a pen pal in Namibia two years ago and started testing them on wastewater in a tank at home," said Todesco. "Now I have just started studying to become a microbiologist, and I hope to spend a great deal of time in the lab to continue developing the method."

The international Stockholm Junior Water Prize competition brings together the world's brightest young scientists to encourage their continued interest in water and the environment. This year, thousands of participants in countries all over the globe joined national competitions for the chance to represent their nation at the international final held during WWW. Teams from 29 countries competed in the 2014 finals.

See also:

"World Water Week.14: Water, energy communities urged to address global challenges together"

"U.S. Stockholm Junior Water Prize state winners to attend national competition"


About Stockholm Junior Water Prize

The competition is open to young people between the age of 15 and 20 who have conducted water-related projects at local, regional, national or global levels on topics of environmental, scientific, social and/or technological importance. The aim of the competition is to increase awareness, interest and knowledge of water and the environment. As of this year the board of SIWI has decided to increase the prize sum to the winners and also to institute a new prize. The international winner will from now on receive a $15,000 award and a prize sculpture, the winner's school receives $5,000 (new category) and the winner of the Diploma of Excellence $3,000. For more information, click here.

About Stockholm International Water Institute

Stockholm International Water Institute is a policy institute that generates knowledge and informs decision-makers towards water wise policy and sustainable development. SIWI performs research, builds institutional capacity and provides advisory services in five thematic areas: water governance, transboundary water management, water and climate change, the water-energy-food nexus, and water economics. SIWI organizes WWW -- the leading annual meeting place for water and development issues -- and hosts the Stockholm Water Prize, the Stockholm Junior Water Prize and the Stockholm Industry Water Award. For more information, visit www.siwi.org.

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