image H.R.H Crown Princess Victoria and the SJWP finalists at the award ceremony in Stockholm 2019.

What is the Stockholm Junior Water Prize?

The Stockholm Junior Water Prize is an international competition for students between 15 and 20 who present innovative projects to solve major water challenges. National winners are selected in all participating countries and they then meet in the international finals.

The competing projects are reviewed by an international jury of leading water experts who eventually decide who will receive the Prize from the hands of its Patron, H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden. The jury can also award a Diploma of Excellency. All finalists also participate in a special programme with field visits and scientific lectures. The finals are usually held in Stockholm during World Water Week, end of August.

What’s different in 2020?

For the first time, the 2020 Stockholm Junior Water Prize will be held entirely online. The coronavirus outbreak has also meant that fewer countries compete this year – 29 of the 38 countries involved.

A new award is also introduced, in addition to the main Stockholm Junior Water Prize and the Diploma of Excellence. For the first time, the audience gets to vote for the People’s Choice Award.

Despite the unusual circumstances, many things remain the same. As a finalist you’re still part of a vibrant community with activities organized just for you.

Who wins the Stockholm Junior Water Prize?

That is up to the jury, which consists of leading water experts. As a finalist, you share your work with the jury by submitting your project description and a video of yourself presenting an easy-to-follow pitch of your idea. These two descriptions will form the basis for the jury’s first assessment of the participating projects. In a second round, 12 of the competing projects will be summoned by the jury for an online interview, where you get to further define and defend your water solution.

The jury is looking for projects of environmental, scientific, social, and technological significance. They evaluate the proposals through questions such as:

• Does the project benefit both the environment and society?
• Is the project relevant, is it addressing a real and important challenge within the water environment?
• Does the project raise and increase awareness on water issues?
• Are the discussions and suggestions creative and innovative?
• Are the purpose, methodology and results presented in an informative and understandable way?

What does it mean to be a finalist?

As a finalist, you (maybe as part of a team) have won the national competition in your country, which you will now represent in the international finals. But you also become part of a vibrant international community where you can make friends all over the world. Previous years’ finalists have developed lasting friendships and exchanged valuable tips and advice. They also connect with senior water experts who can help them put their project ideas into practice.

Maybe most rewarding of all, many of the ideas that started as school projects have evolved into solutions that help communities overcome local water challenges.

In 2020, all finalists have presented their project proposals and videos which are now being studied by the jury as well as the curious public who wants to vote for the People’s Choice Award. Be sure to share your project and encourage friends and family to vote for it!

By mid-August, the jury will summon 12 finalists for more in-depth interviews.

On 18 August, all finalists are invited to a seminar at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, held online. During the digital visit you will tour the school and learn what it’s like to study there. You also meet water experts and take part in a seminar on how to bring sustainable innovations to the market.

What does it mean to be a national organizer?

The Stockholm Junior Water Prize is organized by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), but the national competitions are delivered by independent national organizers, with support from SIWI and in accordance with the prize guidelines.

What do I do if I have questions?

Hopefully, much of the information you need can be found here on WaterTank, on the website of SIWI and through or through Stockholm Junior Water Prize’s own Facebook page. You are also always welcome to contact Ania Andersch, Senior Manager at SIWI, ania.andersch@siwi.org.