Swiss Junior Water Prize 2020

Swiss Junior Water Prize 2020 - Anna Sidonia Marugg

Anna Sidonia Marugg from Zuoz (GB) wins the Swiss Junior Water Prize 2020

Bern (24th April 2020) – The national contest for young researchers, Swiss Youth in Science, celebrated its 54th edition with the participation of 136 finalists from 20 cantons. This year, the competition had to be conducted online, which meant a considerable challenge for the organisers as well as for the participants. The Swiss Junior Water Prize 2020 was granted to Anna Sidonia Marugg, a talented young student from the Lyceum Alpinum Zuoz (GR), for her work “Erstnachweis von Mikroplastik in den Gewässern des Oberengadins” a research on the presence of microplastics in alpine water systems, some of them considerably close to the water springs.

The awarded entry is a highly interdisciplinary project in collaboration with the University of Basel. Anna Sidonia used a LADI-trawl of her own manufacture to collect samples in different water bodies in Oberengadin, where data of microplastics are not available yet. She established 8 different collection sites and was able to collect microplastics from all of them. In the laboratory, she could divide her findings in 22 types of microplastics, which she then analysed using further parameters like size of the collected pieces, frequency of occurrence, distance of the sample site to the water spring, population density or land use for sports and leisure areas in the vicinity of the sample site. Her findings surprise in the variety of microplastics that can be found in places commonly regarded as idyllic untouched nature. Anna Sidonia´s self-constructed LADI-trawl proved to be light and portable enough to be used by one person in remote areas where the use of motorboats is not possible. This device has potential to be broadly used by schools.

The jury of Swiss Youth in Science acknowledged Anna Sidonia´s work the distinction “excellent” and commented with the following words “The work presented here by Anna Sidonia Marugg was a highly interdisciplinary project in collaboration with the University of Basel and the Lyceum Alpinum Zuoz and required a high degree of commitment, independence and a structured approach which was implemented with bravery. Data on microplastics in the alpine region are not yet available. This work makes an important contribution to generate scientifically sound knowledge concerning the quantity and occurrence of microplastics in the Alpine region.” (Original Text in German, translation from Karla Schlie)

See Anna Sidonia Marugg´s project presentation here (YouTube, German)

The summary of Anna Sidonia Marugg´s work can be found here (SJf, German)

About Swiss Junior Water Prize

The Swiss Junior Water Prize recognises young students between 15 and 20 years old, who have conducted outstanding school projects related to water and sanitation with proven environmental, scientific, social or technological significance. The winner is entitled to represent Switzerland in the international competition Stockholm Junior Water Prize. The Swiss Junior Water Prize is a joint effort of the Swiss Water Partnership and the Swiss Toilet Organisation, aiming to encourage Swiss Youth to grow an interest in water and sustainability issues.


The Swiss Junior Water Prize can be carried out thanks to the sponsorship of the following organisations.

Skat Consulting Ltd.

Xlylem, Inc.

A special recognition to VSA for their contribution to enhancing the visibility of the Swiss Junior Water Prize within the water sector.


By interest to support the Swiss Junior Water Prize, please contact or

Social Media





Swiss investment in long-term water and sanitation solutions

The COVID-19 pandemic is a health crisis but also has far-reaching social and economic consequences. The spread of the virus is closely related to water and sanitation as access to water, sanitation and hygiene is a fundamental determinant of health. Safely managed water, sanitation and hygiene services are an essential part of preventing disease and protecting human health during infectious disease outbreaks. Frequent and proper hand hygiene is one of the most important prevention measures and can reduce the transmission of diseases like COVID-19. Through good WASH facilities many co-benefits will be realized, including preventing millions of deaths each year caused by other infectious diseases. Today billions of people all over the world lack safe water, sanitation and hygiene facilities. COVID-19 is an illustration of existing vulnerabilities and inequalities in our world. As the virus spreads throughout the world, it is increasingly clear that people with the least access to essential services like water will feel the most dramatic effects.

The Swiss Water Partnership and its’ members are active to provide knowledge, innovative solutions and sustainable infrastructure to the poorest of the world. Investing in long-term water security and access to clean water and sanitation is essential for public health. The collaboration in the network supports the achievement of the goal of a sustainable provision of universal access to drinking water and sanitation for all citizens. Swiss know-how and experiences will help other countries to address these challenges.

Matura Mentoring Initiative

Discover fascinating aspects of water by researching on some of the most relevant aspects that the aquatic sector has to offer. The expertise of the members of the Swiss Water Partnership is available to young students willing to explore up-to-date water subjects for their Matura or graduation works.

Browse through the list of available subjects to get inspired and get in touch with us to be connected with one of our committed experts. S/he will provide you guidance on the topic of your Matura work. If you already have another water-related subject in mind which is not listed, we are happy to hear from you, so we try to find a water professional with the expertise you need.

Contacts for Matura Mentoring Initiative:

Luca Schaufelberger

SWP Youth Group member

Matura Mentoring Initiative

Karla Schlie

Swiss Toilet Organisation

Coordination Swiss Junior Water Prize

Postgraduate studies in Sustainable Water Resources at ETH Zurich - NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS

Applications are now being accepted for the Master of Advanced Studies (MAS) in Sustainable Water Resources, a one year full time study and research program at the Institute of Environmental Engineering, ETH Zurich.

The MAS is designed to advance the knowledge of engineers, scientists, and water resources managers on sustainable water use in a changing world, preparing them to face the challenges of the future.

For further information, visit the MAS website, check out the MAS brochure, or write to The deadline for application is March 31, 2020 for a starting date of September 14, 2020. If you are interested in joining this unique program please start the application process now. I look forward to hearing from you!

Swiss Junior Water Prize: Sharing experiences with a new generation

Bern, 18th January 2020. Zamir Borojevic, Swiss Junior Water Prize 2019, shared the stage with Anna-Katharina Funk during the eliminatory workshop of Swiss Youth in Science (SYiS). Both Alumni shared their valuable experiences with a group of students participating in this year’s contest.

Every year, hundreds of students countrywide submit projects to participate in SYiS. Students who submitted projects to the national contest last October gathered on 18th January in Bern for the eliminatory workshop, where they presented their work to the field experts. A great effort is undertaken by SYiS to provide each student or group of students who present a project in the workshop with an individual expert to coach them. This coaching often helps the students to improve the theory basis of their projects as well as the interpretation and presentation of their results. Students with a passion for science and the subject of their work profit from this valuable offer considerably.

Approximately 100 projects were selected to compete in the finals taking place from 23th-25th April in Biel/Bienne. During the finals, more than 30 special prizes will be awarded to the best projects, among them the Swiss Junior Water Prize 2020.

Swiss Junior Water Prize: visit to the House of Government in Bern

Every year, young talents who reach the highest scores at the National Contest Swiss Youth in Science are invited to spend a day at the House of Government in Bern, where they are hosted by the Federal President in turn.

Zamir Borojevic, winner of the Swiss Junior Water Prize 2019, who reached the excellent mark in this year’s contest, was among the group of students visiting the Federal Assembly on 28th November. The group had the opportunity to exchange about their subjects of interest with President Mr. Ueli Maurer, who congratulated all the winners on their success in the National Competition and exhorted them to take their knowledge out into the world and use every opportunity to spread innovative Swiss ideas internationally.

Read the press release here (in German) Medienmitteilung | Empfang Bundespräsident 2019

Young scientists from SJWP address leaders attending COP25

“They are our future, the next generation can continue where we left off. But before they can do it, we need to start taking action, now.”  

Zamir Borojevic, winner of the Swiss Junior Water Prize 2019 and fellow finalist of this year’s Stockholm Junior Water Prize sent a messages to the international leaders gathering im Madrid for COP25.The World Climate Summit 2019 takes place in Madrid from 2nd to 13th December with the objective of reaching agreements and commitments between nations to fight agains the effects of climate change.

Watch the message here

Read also the statement of the finalists on climate change Young Water Scientists Call for Climate Action. 

Report: Swiss Junior Water Prize

As winner of the Swiss-JWP, Zamir Borojevic was entitled to represent Switzerland at the Stockholm Junior Water Prize (SJWP) during the last week of August 2019. This is the most prestigious event dedicated to water and Mr. Borojevic proved to be a worthy ambassador of Swiss youth, displaying deep knowledge on the subject of his research during the project presentation in front of the international jury.

>>>>>>>>>>>> Read the full report HERE. <<<<<<<<<<<<<

Swiss Entry

Tardigrades Under the Influence of Acidic and Alkaline Solutions,
and UV-C Radiation – Zamir Borojevic

Tardigrades are very small animals who belong to the taxon of Ecdysozoa, and are found in most water bodies, sediment and moss. They have developed the unique ability to react to rapidly changing environmental conditions by changing their physical
characteristics and taking on different stages of resistance. Climate change not only has an influence on temperatures around the world, but it also affects the physical characteristics of different waters, which results in need of adaptation for all organisms living in aquatic ecosystems. The aim is to investigate the tolerance and vitality of Hypsibius exemplaris under the influence of different pH values and different dosages of UV-C light and thereby create a diagram for their tolerance and vitality for each experiment.

Contest and related activities

A total of 56 finalists from 35 countries submitted written projects to enter the SWJP at the beginning of June. During the contest week in Stockholm, each finalist was interviewed by the 7 members of the jury who had previously read and evaluated the submitted projects. The Swiss contestant was interviewed on Monday 26th August in the second group of finalists. Besides the interviews by the jury and the projects’ exhibition framed within the World Water Week, the contestants attended a series of events that encourage intercultural exchange and strengthen friendship bonds among the participants. They were also the main actors during Malin Falkenmark´s Young Scientists Symposyum on Climate Change, where the finalists submitted a common Youth Statement on Water and Climate Change to be included in the final review of the World Water Week. The highlight event was the award ceremony of the SJWP, where the finalists had the opportunity to meet H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, patron of the prize.

Winning project

Winner of the Stockholm Junior Water Prize 2019 was Macinley Butson, from the Australia, for her project “The SODIS Sticker – Development of an Inexpensive and Deployable Film-based Detector for Accurate Ultraviolet Solar Disinfection (SODIS) of Water”.

>>>>>>>>>>> Read the full report HERE. <<<<<<<<<<<<<

This is what Stockholm Junior Water Prize is about!








Every year, tens of thousands of brilliant young minds around the world develop astonishing innovations to tackle today´s water challenges. The winners of their national competitions come together for the finals of the Stockholm Junior Water Prize during the World Water Week.

The Swiss Water Partnership and the Swiss Toilet Organisation have joined forces to carry out the Swiss Junior Water Prize since 2017, entitling the winners to represent Switzerland in the international contest in Stockholm, in a week full of unforgettable emotions.

Meet the 56 finalists of 2019 and learn more about this inspirational event in the video here.