Jun 20, 2012

New York Student to Represent U.S. in International Stockholm Junior Water Prize Competition

Kunal Sangani was named the U.S. winner of the 2012 Stockholm Junior Water Prize

Kunal Sangani of Fayetteville, N.Y., was named the U.S. winner of the 2012 Stockholm Junior Water Prize (SJWP) during a ceremony last weekend in Boston.

Sangani’s project, “Modeling and Environmental Analysis of Hydraulic Fracturing in Upstate New York,” was top among 49 state SJWP winners at the national competition held in Boston June 14 to 16. His study examined various aspects of hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, on groundwater resources in upstate New York and presented a model for understanding its potential environmental impacts on the natural environment and groundwater resources.

“Kunal’s paper and the SJWP competition in general continue to reinforce my belief that the future of America’s water is in good hands,” said Mohamed F. Dahab, chair of the SJWP review committee. “The level of research and creativity presented by the young men and women who participated was simply outstanding.”

Sangani received $3,000 and an all-expense paid trip to Stockholm, where he will compete against national winners from more than 30 countries for the international honor during World Water Week, Aug. 25 to 30. HRH Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden will present the international award—$5,000 and a crystal sculpture—during a royal ceremony held in conjunction with the Stockholm Water Symposium.

Sangani’s school, Fayetteville-Manlius High School, will receive a $1,000 grant toward enhancing water science education and he will have the opportunity to present his research to thousands of water quality professionals at WEFTEC 2012, being held Sept. 29 to Oct. 3 in New Orleans.

Three U.S. finalists, Natalie Ng of Cupertino, Calif.; Taide Ding of Oxford, Miss.; and Ajay Krishnan of Portland, Ore., also received $1,000 awards.

In addition to the SJWP winners, Sydney-Alyce Bourget of Jonesboro, Ga., received the Bjorn von Euler Innovation in Water Scholarship for her project, “The Chronic Toxicity of Acetaminophen on Daphnia magna.” The award recognizes projects that demonstrate a unique passion for education and awareness of sustainable water management, and the $1,000 scholarship honors the valuable work and contributions of former Water Environment Federation (WEF) board member and retired ITT Corp. communications director, Bjorn von Euler.

WEF sponsors the U.S. SJWP with support from Xylem Inc. and the Coca-Cola Co. The New England Water Environment Assn. hosted the 2012 national competition, and Sangani received sponsorship from the New York Water Environment Assn.

For more information about the SJWP and to download the winning paper, visit www.wef.org.