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, sponsored globally by ITT Industries, during World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden.

Moletsane, Motshodi and Ramabenyane, students at Setjhaba Se Maketsee Combined School in South Africa, received the Prize from HRH Crown Princess Victoria on behalf of the Stockholm Water Foundation. The group of students received a USD $5,000 scholarship.

The Stockholm Junior Water Prize is presented each year to a high-school age student or group of students who have conducted an outstanding water- related research project focusing on topics of environmental, scientific, social or technological importance. The international honour is given to an individual or group who, like their co-competitors, has been awarded the top prize among national competitions. The National Country winners travel to Stockholm from as far as Israel, Australia, and China.

The Nominating Committee, in its official motivation, awarded the Prize to the South African group of students for their project, "Nocturnal Hydro Minimiser, an electrically operated automatic water system."

Nocturnal Hydro Minimiser

The Nocturnal Hydro Minimiser is designed to minimize the need for water in small-scale irrigation. The students 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 it occurs mostly at night, less water is lost to evaporation. The invention is technically simple and inexpensive to produce. Yet, the system enables communities to use limited water resources more efficiently, to improve food production and to improve poverty conditions.

"Water is the most fundamental element to life on Earth, and how we use this resource will shape the future of humanity. We must encourage future generations to guard this resource by developing and studying innovative solutions to global water issues," said Steve Loranger, President and Chief Executive Officer of ITT Industries. "The Stockholm Junior Water Prize encourages tomorrow's leaders to tackle today's water issues in hopes of one day ensuring global access to clean, fresh water."

This year the jury 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; and
  • Marc Campeny and Marc Oliva from Spain.

About the 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.

Sponsors and Organizers

About the Water Environment Federation (WEF)

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.

About ITT Industries, Inc.

ITT Industries, Inc. 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 approximately 39,000 people around the world. In addition to the New York Stock Exchange, ITT Industries stock is traded on the Midwest, Pacific, London, Paris and Frankfurt exchanges.

About the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI)

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.

Source: ITT Inc.

More articles on this topic