South African students win Stockholm Junior Water Prize

Pontso Moletsane, Motobele Motshodi and Sechaba Ramabenyane from South Africa were awarded the prestigious Stockholm Junior Water Prize in a formal ceremony at Dansens Hus in Stockholm, during the World Water Week in Stockholm...

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Aug. 23, 2005 -- Pontso Moletsane, Motobele Motshodi and Sechaba Ramabenyane from South Africa were awarded the prestigious Stockholm Junior Water Prize in a formal ceremony at Dansens Hus in Stockholm, during the World Water Week in Stockholm.

The three, from Setjhaba Se Maketsee Combined School, received the prize from the hands of Crown Princess Victoria on behalf of the Stockholm Water Foundation. They also received a US$5,000 scholarship and a crystal sculpture. South Africa won the prize for the second time in three years.

The Stockholm Junior Water Prize is presented each year to a high-school age student(s) for 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 Vietnam.

The Nominating Committee's official motivation is: "The South African team proposed a revolutionary solution to minimize the need for water in small-scale irrigation. They developed a low-current electric soil humidity sensor which uses light detection to control water pipe valves and improve irrigation efficiency. By automating irrigation so that it occurs mainly at night, less water is lost to evaporation. Their invention, called the 'Nocturnal Hydro Minimiser,' is technically simple and inexpensive to produce. It enables communities to use the limited water resource more efficiently, to improve food production and to contribute to eradication of poverty."

This year the jury has also decided to award three other countries with "Diplomas of Excellence," which consist of a diploma and a USD 500 award to each one. The awarded finalists are:
-- Ricardo Martin Robledo and Antonio de la Cruz Caceres from Argentina
-- Itzel Garcia Silva and Liliana Vargas Meneses from Mexico
-- Marc Campeny and Marc Oliva from Spain

For additional information, see www.worldwaterweek.org.

In other news, to help prepare the young people of Sri Lanka for the critical role they will ultimately play in the water use and management in that nation following the devastating effects of the tsunami in December 2004, ITT Industries Inc. announced today that it will sponsor Sri Lanka's participation in the Stockholm Junior Water Prize competition in 2006.

The Stockholm International Water Institute (www.siwi.org) administers the competition on behalf of the Stockholm Water Foundation. The international competition is sponsored globally by ITT Industries. The institute is a policy body that contributes to international efforts to find solutions to 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.

ITT Industries Inc. (www.itt.com) supplies advanced technology products and services in key markets including: fluid and water management including water treatment; defense communication, opto-electronics, information technology and services; electronic interconnects and switches; and other specialty products. Headquartered in White Plains, NY, the company generated $6.8 billion in 2004 sales and employs about 39,000 people around the world.

###

More in International