Alison Bick of the United States has received the 2011 Stockholm Junior Water Prize from the hands of H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden at a ceremony that took place during the World Water Week in Stockholm. The American teen has developed a low-cost portable method to test water quality – using a mobile phone, according to the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI).
SIWI says that Alison worked for four years on her project, which combines micro-fluidic devices, cell-phones, and chemical indicators to evaluate water quality. Her innovative method does not only accurately assess the bacteria content of water. It is both significantly faster and up to 200 times less expensive than standard testing procedures.
“This year’s winning project reflects truly out of the box thinking to find a solution to an important real world problem that is relevant in both a developing and developed country context. It is the result of a creative, multi-facetted, and long-term effort that was triggered by an actual problem in the local community. It has the potential to revolutionise our ability to monitor water quality in a way that is fast, accurate, more flexible and less expensive than existing technologies,” said the International Jury in its citation.
“I thought it was absolutely fascinating to speak to all the different contestants from all the different nations and cultures. It was something I’ve never experienced before. I am really excited to win such a prestigious contest. Hopefully I’ll keep in contact with the other contestants and hopefully collaborate one day,” said the winner after receiving the prize.
The international Stockholm Junior Water Prize competition brings together thousands of participants in over 28 countries. The representatives at the international final held during the World Water Week in Stockholm are the winners of national competitions that fielded over 9000 submitted projects this past year.
“ITT is proud to support the Stockholm Junior Water Prize and the outstanding water research the competition generates,” said Gretchen McClain, senior vice president at ITT and president of its Fluid and Motion Control group. “Every year we are inspired by the groundbreaking work of students across the world and their commitment to finding new and innovative solutions our global water challenges. We congratulate this year’s winner and of all the participants for continuing their efforts to help solve our global water issues.”
The international winner receives a $5,000 award and a prize sculpture.
The Stockholm International Water Institute administers the competition, which is sponsored globally by ITT Corporation.