South Africans win Junior Stockholm Prize

The Stockholm Junior Water Prize was awarded to three high school students, Pontso Moletsane, Motobele Motshodi, and Sechaba Ramabenyane, from South Africa in a formal ceremony held during World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden (22-26 August 2005).

The Stockholm Junior Water Prize was awarded to three high school students, Pontso Moletsane, Motobele Motshodi, and Sechaba Ramabenyane, from South Africa in a formal ceremony held during World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden (22-26 August 2005). The three students, who attend the Setjhaba Se Maketsee Combined School, won the prize for their project “Nocturnal Hydro Minimizer, an electrically-operated automatic water system.”

The Nocturnal Hydro Minimizer is designed to minimize the need for water in small-scale irrigation. The students developed a low-current electric soil humidity sensor that uses light detection to control water pipe valves and improve irrigation efficiency. By automating irrigation so it occurs mostly at night, less water is lost to evaporation. The invention is technically simple and inexpensive to produce. The system enables communities to use limited water resources more efficiently, to improve food production and to improve poverty conditions.

Sponsored globally by ITT Industries Inc. for nine years, the prize includes a US$ 5,000 scholarship and a crystal sculpture. The company sponsors the participation of students in the USA, Canada, Sweden, France, China, Argentina and Holland. ITT Industries’ President Steve Loranger announced that the company would also sponsor Sri Lanka’s involvement in the 2006 International Stockholm Junior Water Prize.

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