Stockholm Junior Water Prize is a competition for students aged 15 to 20 who have developed school projects that can solve major water challenges. The competition attracts thousands of entries from 38 countries. We are honoured to have HRH Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden as the Patron of the prize.


Stockholm Junior Water Prize has been held every year since 1997 and has become a popular part of World Water Week. The 2020 edition was however entirely held online and due to Covid-19, only 29 countries had been able to arrange national competitions. The award ceremony was held on 25 August, when the Prize’s Patron, HRH Crown Princess Victoria presented the winners of the 2020 Stockholm Junior Water Prize – Hiroki Matsuhashi and Takuma Miyaki from Japan. Read more about the winners here.

Competing in the finals are all the winners from the different national competitions. Their work is carefully reviewed by a jury of international water experts.

The jury can also award a Diploma of Excellence to a particularly worthy project. In 2020, this was presented to Zoe Gotthold, USA, for a non-toxic solution to separate oil spill emulsions and reduce the harm from oil spills.

In addition, the public can vote for their favourite project in the People’s Choice Award. This is a great chance to meet inspiring young innovators and get a sneak peek at their trailblazing ideas before (almost) anyone else. In 2020, the Bangladeshi team won the hearts of the audience. Adittya Kumar Chowdhury and Khaled Iftekhar have developed an effective but inexpensive method to purify water using a naturally derived poly glutamic acid in association with Moringa oleifera seeds.

“Our finalists could be tomorrow’s leading scientists and we know from experience that their innovations can solve real-world problems. Many projects that started as part of the Stockholm Junior Water Prize are now being used, helping thousands of people in different parts of the world,” says Ania Andersch, Senior Manager Stockholm Junior Water Prize at SIWI.

Watch the full award ceremony here >>>

2020 Finalist catalogue


The Stockholm Junior Water Prize contestants get to learn from present leaders of the global water community. They also meet fellow students who share a passion for water and science. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity!
Ania Andersch, SIWI

The Stockholm Junior Water Prize 2020

Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, fewer countries than usual were able to hold national competitions in 2020, but an amazing 29 national contests did take place, despite the circumstances. The finals were held entirely online, and all the projects can be seen on the participants’ own community web page, Watertank. HRH Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden announced the winners during an online award ceremony on 25 August, as part of World Water Week At Home. Hiroki Matsuhashi and Takuma Miyaki from Japan won the Stockholm Junior Water Prize 2020 for a method to control soil runoff and increase food production, using the traditional Japanese soil solidification technology Tataki. In its citation the Jury noted that: “This year’s winners have proven that simple local solutions can solve water problems in a global context. Through systematic studies the contestants have developed methods to make water conservation and soil management more achievable. The contestants effectively combined scientific knowledge and experimentation to revolutionize the way water is collected, used, and conserved for agriculture in arid regions. The research also demonstrated soil erosion control and nutrient management to make agriculture sustainable through the method developed. The technology is a low-cost, simple to implement and globally applicable method for arid region agriculture.Zoe Gotthold, USA, was presented with a Diploma of Excellence for her project P.E.N.G.U.I.N.S, Promoting Emulsion Nullification Greenly Using Innovative Nucleation Surfaces. Her innovative approach to tackling oil spills impressed the Jury, whose citation said: “Global problems need creative solutions driven by fundamental knowledge and careful hypothesis-driven research. This project embodies such research and could have scalable solutions to control oil pollution in marine ecosystems. The contestant has demonstrated extraordinary knowledge and perseverance to accomplish the goal of this research.Adittya Kumar Chowdhury and Khaled Iftekhar from Bangladesh got the most votes in the new People’s Choice Award. To help people living in areas with polluted drinking water they have developed a new and inexpensive method to purify water through naturally derived poly glutamic acid in association with Moringa oleifera seeds as a coagulant. Though held for the first time, the People’s Choice Award turned out to be hugely popular, with close to 60,000 votes cast and all participants receiving votes.

Watch the full award ceremony here >>>

About the competition

Each year, thousands of participants from almost 40 countries all around the globe join national competitions in hopes of earning the chance to represent their nation at the international final held during the World Water Week in Stockholm.

The national and international competitions are open to young people between the ages of 15 and 20 who have conducted water-related projects of proven environmental, scientific, social or technological significance. The projects range from local or regional to national or global topics.

The winner of the Stockholm Junior Water Prize receives a USD 15,000 award, a blue crystal prize sculpture, and a hand made diploma. The prize is awarded by HRH Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, the Patron of the Stockholm Junior Water Prize. The winning school is awarded a diploma and USD 5000. Further a Diploma of Excellence is awarded together with USD 3000.

What does it mean to get to the international final?

Finalists from the participating countries are invited to Stockholm for five days where they take part in the global conference through a variety of activities. Inside the World Water Week conference venue, a poster exhibition of all student projects will give the finalists an opportunity to discuss their projects with the wide range of conference attendees, including researchers, politicians and media. Each of the finalists is further interviewed by a jury of international experts, who decide on the winner announced at the prize ceremony.

Finalists of the Stockholm Junior Water Prize are also invited to join WaterTank, an exclusive alumni network for finalists. Through this network, finalists are able to connect and collaborate with each other as well with expert mentors and advisors from leading organizations, such as Xylem Inc., Raincoat Foundation and SIWI. The aim is to help these bright minds advance their projects as well as keep them engaged in the water sector. Find out more about WaterTank here.

The Stockholm Junior Water Prize 2019

In 2019, 35 countries participated in Stockholm Junior Water Prize and the finals were held in Stockholm during World Water Week.

HRH Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden presented the Stockholm Junior Water Prize to Macinley Butson from Australia. Macinley Butson has developed a new, novel and innovative ultraviolet sticker to accurately measure large UV exposures for solar disinfection of water. The SODIS sticker deeply impressed the jury for its ability to accurately measure the solar UV exposure required to sanitize drinking water through two innovative products built together.

A Diploma of Excellence was also awarded to Diana Virgovicova, United Kingdom, for her discovery of a New Photocatalyst to Solve Water Pollution. In their citation the Jury stated that Diana Virgovicova has “solved a long-lasting challenge by opening new windows in using fundamental science combined with the most recent technics within chemistry to formulate a novel molecule with high potential in promising future water treatment.” 

In 2019 the Stockholm Junior Water Prize finalists joined forces and issued a statement urging world leaders to accelerate action on climate change. The statement received great attention and was sent to both the United Nations General Assembly and the climate conference COP 25 in Madrid. Read the full statement here.

More about the 2019 Prize



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