Young South African wins Stockholm Junior Water Prize

Ms. Claire Reid from South Africa was awarded the prestigious Stockholm Junior Water Prize, sponsored by ITT Industries, tonight in a formal ceremony at Nybrokajen 12, the Old Music Academy.

Innovative project aids farmers in water-short countries

Stockholm, August 13, 2003 -- Ms. Claire Reid from South Africa was awarded the prestigious Stockholm Junior Water Prize, sponsored by ITT Industries, tonight in a formal ceremony at Nybrokajen 12, the Old Music Academy.

Claire, a student at St. Teresa's Mercy School in Guateng Province, received the Prize from hands of HRH Crown Princess Victoria on behalf of the Stockholm Water Foundation. Claire received a USD $5,000 scholarship and a crystal sculpture.

The Stockholm Junior Water Prize is presented each year to a high-school age student whose research has conducted an outstanding water-related project focusing on topics of environmental, scientific, social or technological importance.

The international honor is given to an individual or group who, like their 26 co-competitors, has been awarded the top prize among national competitions. The National Country winners travel to Stockholm from as far a field as Israel, Australia, and the Ukraine.

This year China, Cameroon and Russia join as first-time entrants in the competition, which has grown each year since being founded in 1995 as a Sweden-only contest.

The Nominating Committee, in its official motivation, awarded the Prize to Claire "for an innovative, practical, easily applicable technique for planting and successfully germinating seeds in water-scarce areas to improve rural and peri-urban livelihoods."

The "Water Wise Reel Gardening" System
In South Africa, water is a scarce resource. To help farmers to be more efficient in their use of water in growing crops, Claire developed a so-called "Water Wise Reel Gardening" system. This simple and effective seed-planting system cuts down water usage by as much as 80% by reducing water leakage into the soil. Among its many benefits, it keeps seeds moist, so that they can germinate, without wasting water.

"While the global water environment remains in peril, the future depends on our ability to manage this life-sustaining resource. Today's youth are indeed tomorrow's leaders and must be encouraged to pursue water-related careers or risk further erosion of our scarce supply," said Robert Ayers, President of ITT Industries' Fluid Technology. "The Stockholm Junior Water Prize helps meet that objective and is the reason ITT Industries has been the proud global sponsor for five years."

Stockholm Junior Water Prize

The Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) administers the competition on behalf of the Stockholm Water Foundation. The international competition is sponsored globally by ITT Industries. Fortum is the Sponsor Host Stockholm.

"The Stockholm Junior Water Prize has established itself as 'The World Championship' on water research for youth," says SJWP Committee Chairman Dr. Johan Rockström of the University of Zimbabwe. "This is a great achievement, but more importantly it is filling an enormous gap. There are simply far too few arenas for tribute of young excellence in managing our finite and precious natural resources, such as water."

About the Sponsors and Organizers

In the United States, the Water Environment Federation is the National Organiser of the Stockholm Junior Water Prize, and ITT Industries is the National Sponsor. WEF is a not-for-profit technical and educational organisation with members from varied disciplines who work toward the WEF vision of preservation and enhancement of the global water environment.

ITT Industries, Inc. supplies advanced technology products and services in key markets including: electronic interconnects and switches; defense communication, opto-electronics, information technology and services; fluid and water management and other industrial products. The company reported 2002 revenues of $4.99 billion.

For general information, visit

The Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) is a policy think tank that contributes to international efforts to combat the world's escalating water crisis. SIWI advocates future-oriented, knowledge-integrated water views in decision making, nationally and internationally, that lead to sustainable use of the world's water resources and sustainable development of societies. For general information, visit

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