Thailand Junior Water Prize winners announced

The winners of the 2017 Thailand Junior Water Prize were announced in an awards ceremony in Bangkok on Monday 1 May.

The winning team comes from the Bangkok neighbour province Nonthaburi’s Nonthaburi High School that have invented a waste-collecting boat powered by solar energy.

The winners will represent Thailand in the world final of the competition at the World Water Week in Stockholm in August.

The Swedish Embassy’s Daniel Klasander held a speech and welcomed the winners to Sweden.

Thailand won the global competition in 2016. Three students from Thailand, Sureeporn Triphetprapa, Thidarat Phianchat and Kanjana Komkla, received the 2016 Stockholm Junior Water Prize for their innovative water retention device that mimics the water retention of the Bromeliad plant.

By examining the efficacy of natural water collection by plants – especially in terms of the shape of plants that collect and capture water – Sureeporn Triphetprapa, Thidarat Phianchat and Kanjana Komkla built a device that mimics the water retention of the Bromeliad plant. The device has also been installed on rubber trees on rubber plantations. For this, they have been awarded the 2016 Stockholm Junior Water Prize, showcasing that nature is the best teacher.

The Jury was impressed by the winners, in particular their exceptional creativity, unrelenting diligence, enthusiasm and true passion for water.

“The theme of the 2016 World Water Week is Water for Sustainable Growth. The winning project addresses future water security and rural livelihoods using an elegant leap-frog technology which looks simple, but its beauty masks its complexity! The project embodies the theme well through its journey from the idea to application,” the Jury said in its citation.

“It has already proven to be scalable and is now being tested in the field, by hundreds of farmers, who are now benefiting from the inspiration from beautiful plants which have an exceptional capacity to collect and store water.”

Asked how she would want to take the winning project further, Sureeporn Triphetprapa said: “I will use our idea to relieve poverty in our community.”

“This shows that to make real progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, we need to start at the local level. This is a very good example of that; a simple, smart and scalable solution, making a big difference”, said Torgny Holmgren, Executive Director of SIWI.

Stockholm Junior Water Prize gathers imaginative young minds from all over the world, encouraging their continued interest in water and sustainability issues. The competition draws more than 10,000 entries from over 30 countries. H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden is the Patron of the prize.

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, a diploma as well as the stay in Stockholm.

More info about the World Water Week conference www.worldwaterweek.org

Sources: Embassy of Sweden in Bangkok, SIWI

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