October 2013: Advancing the Field of Water: Stockholm World Water Week 2013

World Water Week (WWW) is one of the most prestigious and useful yearly events for the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector.  Held in Stockholm every September, it gathers 3,000 professionals to discuss new trends and share cutting edge discoveries. Since 1991, each year addresses a particular theme to better understand a specific water-related topic in workshops, seminars and events. This year’s theme was Water Cooperation- Building Partnerships.

The Young Scientific Programme Committee

WWW provides young professionals with an opportunity to collaborate with world-class scientist and water professionals. As a Water Supply and Sanitation Specialist, I have been lucky to have participated in this event for the last six years as a member of the Young Scientific Programme Committee and one of the judges for the Stockholm Junior Water Prize. The Junior Water Prize invites 30 finalists amongst 1,500 students to compete through submitting a paper advancing the field of water science. This year’s winners, two teenage girls from Chile, discovered Antarctic bacteria able to decompose oil spills in frigid waters.

Judges are able to attend the WWW seminars and participate in the exclusive award ceremonies.  The highlight each year is the Royal Banquet, a black tie event presided by King Gustav of Sweden where the Water Prize Laureate is celebrated.  The prize was given this year to Dr. Peter Morgan, for his contribution to the improvement of rural sanitation in Africa.

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WWW makes you appreciate the enormous potential that such a gathering offers in terms of expanded knowledge, networks and common goals.

Susana Sandoz, M.Sc., B.Sc. – Senior Project Director, Water, Sanitation and Environment Group