Indian American girl wins Stockholm Junior Water Prize


Indian-American girl has won the Stockholm Junior Water Prize for her research on decontaminating water.

The winner Eshani Jha’s name was announced by Sweden’s crown princess Victoria during an online award ceremony as a part of the World Water Week in capital Stockholm. After the World Food prize, now the Water prize has also gone to someone of Indian origin.

Jha’s efforts in finding a simpler, cost-effective way of cleaning freshwater by replacing active carbon with biochar made her the absolute winner. Her invention would make water filters more efficient and cheaper.

Jha is from Lynbrook High School in San José, California, and she has found a simpler, cost-effective way of cleaning freshwater by replacing active carbon with biochar. This will make water filters efficient and cheaper.

Stockholm Junior Water Prize is for winning a 15-to-20 age group contest of solving major water challenges.

Earlier India-linked Trinidadian Shakuntala Haraksingh Thilsted had won World Food Prize. Jha said: “I am honored to receive this prize, particularly with so many excellent contributions from around the world. I hope we can made a better water world. We really are the future of water-related science.”

Her invention targets certain classes of contaminants, in particular pesticides, emerging contaminants, and heavy metals.

She enhanced the biochar’s ability to act like a sponge for these contaminants, creating a ‘super sponge’.

The jury said: “Around the world, new water contaminants are being discovered and increasing concentrations of existing pollutants being recorded.”

The Stockholm International Water Institute, SIWI, set up the prize in 1997 with Xylem as the founding partner. This year’s award function was online.