NC Stockholm Junior Water Prize
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About the competition:


The Stockholm Junior Water Prize (SJWP) is the world's most prestigious youth award for a water-related
science project. The prize taps into the unlimited potential of today's high school students as they seek to
address current and future water challenges.

The competition is open to any high school student in grades 9-12, and are 15 years of age by August 1st of the
competition year. All research papers must be uploaded online no later than April 15th of each year to
compete in their state’s competition. All state winners will receive an all-expenses paid trip to the SJWP
National Competition. The national winner will receive $10,000 and an all-expenses paid trip to Stockholm,
Sweden to participate in the SJWP International Competition.



To learn more about the program and competition, visit


Tulsa, Okla. High School Student Wins U.S. Stockholm Junior Water Prize, Will Represent the U.S. in International Competition


ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The Water Environment Federation (WEF) proudly announces that Braden Milford has won the 2018 U.S. Stockholm Junior Water Prize (SJWP), the nation’s most prestigious youth competition for water-related research.


Milford, a student at Cascia Hall Preparatory School in Tulsa, Okla., developed a system using naturally occurring bacteria to remove heavy metals from contaminated abandoned mine sites. He won $10,000 and an all-expenses paid trip to Stockholm to represent the United States at the international competition in late August. 


Students from 47 states and Puerto Rico competed in the national finals June 16-17 at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The Stockholm Junior Water Prize aims to increase students’ interest in water issues, research, and careers, as well as to raise awareness about global water challenges. The competition is open to projects focused on improving water quality, water resource management, water protection, and drinking water and wastewater treatment.


The two U.S. runners-up were Anjali Chadha of duPont Manual High School in Louisville, Ky., and Michelle Xing of Great Neck South High School in Lake Success, N.Y., who each received $1,000. Madeline Kane of the Zoo Academy in Omaha, Neb., received the Bjorn von Euler Innovation in Water Scholarship Award from Xylem Inc. Helen Laird of Interior District Education of Alaska received the James L. Condon Recognition for Environmental Stewardship. 


“WEF is proud to support and encourage these young researchers who have chosen to use their talents and energy to develop solutions to protect and preserve our water resources,” said Eileen O’Neill, WEF Executive Director. “The inventive approaches these students use to tackle longstanding issues facing the water sector is both impressive and inspiring.”


In his winning paper, “Designing a Novel Heavy Metal Bioremediation System Utilizing Immobilized Algae Partnered with Heavy Metal Resistant Microbial Isolates Collected From Contaminated Superfund Mine Sites and Identified with a 16S Ribosomal Subunit Analysis,” Milford noted that heavy metal contamination is found at nearly every one of the estimated 500,000 abandoned mine sites in the United States. Of these mine sites, 0.003% are actively funded for cleanup by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and cost $300 million annually. Milford used a five-phase approach to address this problem. After identifying areas of heavy metal concentration along streams near abandoned mine sites and taking samples of the water, Milford identified heavy metal-resistant bacteria. He then combined the bacteria with algae to develop a heavy metal remediation system.


In the U.S., WEF and its Member Associations organize the regional, state, and national competitions with support from Xylem Inc., who also sponsors the international competition. 


Congratulations to the following SJWP award and recognition recipients!




         2018 U.S. SJWP National Winner:  Braden Milford   (Oklahoma)

                (Prize= $10,000 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Stockholm,          Sweden)










2018 U.S. SJWP Runner Up:  Anjali Chadha   (Kentucky)

                (Prize = $1,000)










2018 U.S. SJWP Runner Up:  Michelle Xing  (New York)

                (Prize = $1,000)










   2018 James L. Condon Recognition for Environmental Stewardship:  Helen Laird (Alaska)

(Prize = Plaque)









    2018 Bjorn von Euler Innovation in Water Award:  Madeline Kane  (Nebraska)

                (Prize = $1,000 given by Xylem Inc.)








Congratulations to our 2018 State winner!


Aakriti Lakshmanan, a student at Ardrey Kell High School in Charlotte, NC, has been named a state winner of the 2018 Stockholm Junior Water Prize (SJWP) competition - the most prestigious youth award for a water-related research.


Selected for her project "A Study on the Coagulating Properties of the M. OLEIFERA Seed," Aakriti  will represent North Carolina at the national competition, June 15 - 16, 2018, in Charlotte, NC, held on the campus of UNC Charlotte.


The purpose of the SJWP is to increase students’ interest in water-related issues and research, and to raise awareness about global water challenges. The competition is open to projects aimed at enhancing the quality of life through improvement of water quality, water resources management, water protection, and water protection, and water and wastewater treatment.



In the United States, the Water Environment Federation (WEF) and its Member Associations (MAs) including the NC WEA organize the regional, state and national SJWP competitions with support from Xylem Inc. The NC AWWA-WEA selected and sponsored Aakriti to participate in the 2018 national competition.


“The state winner’s study is very relevant to issues facing the water quality community, and presents an innovative approach to addressing water quality issues”, said Catrice Jones, NC AWWA-WEA Executive Director. As a professional association of water quality experts, we are extremely proud to send Akriti to the national competition.


The national winner receives a $10,000 (USD) scholarship and an all-expense-paid trip to Stockholm, Sweden for the international SJWP competition to represent the United States during World Water Week, August 25 through August 30 2018. The Bjorn von Euler Innovation in Water Scholarship Award, a $1,000 scholarship sponsored by Xylem Inc., will be also awarded to the SJWP state winner who demonstrates a passion for education, spirit of creativity, and innovation. 


The winner of the international SJWP receives a $15,000 award, a blue crystal prize sculpture, a diploma as well as the stay in Stockholm. The prize is awarded by H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, the Patron of the Stockholm Junior Water Prize. The winning school is awarded a diploma and $5,000.



Previous winners:

2017- Joshua Zhou

2016- Nishita Sinha

2015- Vibha Puri

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