John Monash Science School (Australia)

John Monash Science School


Improving Melbourne’s Urban Water Catchments

‘What measures can be employed to improve water quality entering the Yarra River system?’

Water plays an essential role in Victoria’s economic and social prosperity. As the population of Melbourne continues to increase towards the projected 8.5 million in 2051, the security of a steady and reliable water supply for the city is critical. Victoria’s unique closed catchment system provides some of the highest quality water in the world. However, three significant challenges exist in preserving this system: rapid population growth, urban sprawl and development, and the effects of climate change and pollution. The Yarra catchment lies north and east of Melbourne, covering an area of about 4,046 square kilometres, with its upper reaches providing 70% of Melbourne’s drinking water. The influence of many different land use types throughout the Yarra catchment has led to diminished water quality along the Yarra River system. As such it’s middle and lower reaches are unfit for human consumption, agriculture and household use. Our project monitored the water quality of two tributaries of the Yarra catchment, Scotchman’s Creek and Gardiner’s Creek, to determine appropriate measures which could be employed to improve the water quality of the lower reaches of the Yarra catchment.

Sir Karl Popper Schule Wiedner Gymnasium (Austria)

Team Utricularia

Engineering & Technology

Bioanalytical Tools in Advanced Water Treatment

Globally, today’s augmented water consumption increases the pressure on quantity and quality of resource water, resulting in waterbodies containing adverse organic trace pollutants which can negatively influence reproduction and biodiversity in aquatic organisms. Since wastewater treatment plants do not entirely remove them, these pollutants can affect humans by re-entering the urban water cycle after entering the aquatic environment.

The impact of organic trace matters can be assessed by bioassays and biological endpoints because these evaluate various substances that have the same effect on organisms. Therefore, application of labour-intensive and incomplete chemical analysis may be reduced.

The local importance is evident as the effluent of Vienna’s wastewater treatment plant discharges into the river Danube and is, downstream, used as a drinking water source by the city of Bratislava after riverbank filtration.

This paper explores the application of bioassays for toxicological investigations of wastewater treatment plants’ effluents. Bioassays’ current use in the evaluation of wastewater treatment will be discussed, and compared to chemical analysis. In Austria, several bioassays and biological endpoints could be available for testing the effect of organic pollutants. In advanced water treatment activated carbon adsorption and ozonation eventually reduce their effect.

Sir Karl Popper Schule Wiedner Gymnasium (Austria)

Team the Sound of Water

Engineering & Technology

Methods of the Analysis of Microplastics in Water

The intention of this paper is to explore the implications of microplastics on water quality in Vienna by assessing different methods of analysis. This is of relevance as popular scientific studies have shown significant quantities of microplastic particles and general issues related to it.

At the core of the presented research lies an explanation and comparison of different methods of sample preparation and analysis on a theoretical, as well as a practical level. The self-gathered samples of Viennese water will serve the practical comparison. Sample preparation and procedures of optical separation, density separation, and chemical/enzymatic degradation will be compared within this research frame. During the probe analysis the methods of filtration, microscopical measuring and measuring based on optical and electrical criteria will be evaluated. Concerning the verification of plastic two methods, namely Infrared spectroscopy and Ramanspectroscopy, can be assessed. The implications of the microplastics content on water quality will be discussed. Finally, a conclusion will be drawn, showing which type of analysis presents the least risk of falsification and leads to the most reliable results.

Centro Federal de Educação Tecnológica de Minas Gerais (Brazil)



Impact of Acid Irrigation on the Development of Plants for Human Consumption

The phenomenon of acid rain has become increasingly problematic due to raise emissions of polluting gases into the atmosphere. Acid rain can be harmful to plant development, especially agricultural cultivars of great importance to human food supplies. We simulated acid rain to determine its impacts on the development of three agricultural species: corn (Zea mays), peas (Pisum sativum), and beans (Phaseolus vulgaris). Solutions of sulfuric acid at three different pH levels (3.5, 4.5, and 5.5) were used to irrigate rows of 12 plants of each species. Acid irrigation was initiated after germination and was repeated three times a week. Corn and beans irrigated with the acid solutions showed lower dry masses than the controls and did not flower. The highest mass losses of corn were observed in rows irrigated with the pH 3.5 solution; beans showed the highest losses at pH 5.5. The peas showed statistical differences in terms of the variables stem diameter and numbers of fruits and seeds when irrigated with pH 3.5 solutions. Simulated acid rain was therefore found to impair the productivities of those plant species. It was developed a desulfurization assay to study alternatives to mitigate sulfur dioxide release in atmosphere.

Centro Federal de Educacao Tecnologica de Minas Gerais (Brazil)



Sustainable Practices: Alternatives for a Complex Problem

Household wastes constitute ubiquitous sources of pollution and their leachates are serious threats to the quality of surface and ground waters. Domestic wastes are commonly composed of 50% biodegradable organic matter that could be decomposed and used in the form of a bio-fertilizer (humus). Red wiggler earth worms (Eisenia fetida) are widely used in that transformation process. Despite its obvious benefits, domestic vermicomposting is not well-known in Brazil. The present project produced a low-cost vermicomposter and encouraged community members to embrace that technology. A website was developed to guide users. Humus samples were distributed free of charge in the local communities. Chemical characterizations of humus revealed good C/N rations and the ready availability of nutrients such as zinc, phosphorous, calcium, boron, sulfur, chromium, nickel, manganese, and magnesium. Those biofertilizers have been used in school gardens with poor soils to promote the development of 14 bean varieties belonging to four species. The beans seeds were inoculated with diazotrophic bacteria prior planting to improve the nitrogen content of the soil. Those two sustainable practices for crop cultivation were promoted among students and are expected to contribute to organic and family farming situations where bio-fertilizers can be produced with locally available raw materials.

Oak Bay High School (Canada)

Save Our Shores – Plastic Pollution


Identifying Recyclable and Non-Recyclable Plastic Polymers on Southern Vancouver Island Beaches

Why should we care about plastic pollution? Plastics have so many terrible effects on the environment. When small particles of plastic are eaten by marine animals, they are passed up through the trophic levels of ocean food webs. The effects of plastic pollution are becoming better known and now it should be time to start thinking about where what we can do to stop the flow of plastics into our oceans. To begin our look at what we can do to address plastic pollution, we first need to learn what kinds of plastics are washing up on our beaches. For our plastic pollution study, we have two research questions: (1) What types of plastics from #1-7 are washing up and are the types they recyclable or non-recyclable? (2) What types are most abundant on our beaches? To answer our research questions, we will sample and collect plastic debris at local beaches through the use of a transect line to determine our sample area and sieve screens to collect the plastic debris. With the collected plastic, we will use relative densities of specific liquids to identify the standard plastic classification types and determine the relative % of plastics which are recyclable.

Beijing National Day School (China)

BNDS Team 1


Research on the Relationship between Economic Growth and the Awareness on Water Protection ―A Case Study of China and Japan

After searching data for the economy growth and governments’ awareness of public education on water protection, we managed to yield a pattern of the relationship between the 2 factors. The awareness of public education on water protection is likely related to the outbreak of public events and GDP per cap, and it is implied that citizens play important roles in governments’ awareness of public education on water protection of water protection.

Beijing National Day School (China)

BNDS Team 2


Research on Major Causes of Eutrophication in Poyang Lake

Poyang Lake is the biggest freshwater lake in China. However, it was plagued with numerous ecological problems for years. One of them is eutrophication, which was mainly caused by excessive amount of nitrogen and phosphor in the water and leads to the growth of algae and other kinds of plants and plankton. When these organisms are alive, they will block sunlight, absorb oxygen and sometimes release toxic substances, wiping out other plants and animals. After they die, the chemicals that build up in their bodies continue to exist and cause eutrophication. Like many others, we wonder what factors lead to Poyang Lake’s eutrophication. In order to find out about the answer, we listed some possible factors, and then went online to research for some information and data related to those factors. Eventually, we found out several factors including farming fertilizer and factory waste water disposal that lead to Poyang Lake’s eutrophication.

Collegio Claustro Moderno (Columbia)

Team 1

Engineering & Technology

Bioremediation Efficiency of Contaminated Water Using Microalgae

Bioremediation is a process that involves microorganisms and plants, in this case we used microalgae to remove contaminants in water. Microalgae is an efficient option to tackle the pollution problematic in an aquatic ecosystems because the natural conditions are ideal for the growth of this microorganisms. These algae use different compounds as the ones we identify as pollutants in their metabolism. Microalgae can live with low oxygen concentrations and do not need much sunlight. Because of these reasons, bioremediation with algae has been registered as an efficient alternative because it more rentable and they have a wide distribution. In this study we used water with different levels of ammonia, nitrite, phosphate and a basic pH; as the algae developed, the concentrations of the pollutant decreased. For the algae cultivation we used vitamin B12 and a constant temperature of 17ºC. The contaminant levels were reduced in the process although the algae lost vigorousness at the end of the experiment. The microalgae was collected inside the School Claustro Moderno and we identified a consortium constituted by different species such as Scenedesmus sp., Dimorphus sp., Coelastrum sp, Chlorococrcus so., Microcoleus subturolosus, Neospongiococcum irregulare, and Asterococus sp. The bioremediation fulfilled the objective in the cultivation phase and it could be use in a large scale.

Collegio Claustro Moderno (Columbia)

Team 2

Engineering & Technology

Bioremediation Efficiency of Contaminated Water Using Lemna minor

Bioremediation is a process that uses microorganisms, fungus and plants to restore an ecosystem to what it originally was. This project has been carried out with the plant Lemma minor of the araceae family commonly known as duckweed. The objective of this study was to remove water contaminants from the sewers that lead to rivers and oceans. This research analyzes the impact that pharmaceutical wastes have in water in the surrounding ecosystems, knowing that pharmaceutical wastes are expelled from the human body, and that up to 90% of the medicine is urinated leading up to it contaminating waters with chemicals and affecting thousands of marine species. We treated water contaminated with complex B, according to some studies, it is commonly used to reduce bites of vector insect and reduce muscular pains. Plants such as duckweed have the capability to provide organic molecule alteration modifying them to be smaller and nontoxic, also it can absorb heavy metals in water. In this project we used three aquariums with duckweed and we measured their nitrite, phosphate, ammonia and pH levels daily for a month and a decrease in the concentrations was observed. From previous reports it is well known that this process with plants can be a slower alternative to obtain optimal results than the processes that use microorganism or chemical compounds.

Eisbjerghus Internationale Efterskole (Denmark)



Water Usage at Eisbjerghus

At Eisbjerghus we are about 100 students, who use many litres of drinking water every day. We have therefore chosen to focus on our own usage of water, in general, in the students’ – and common rooms, for sanitation and cleaning, as well as in the kitchen.

By that, we will include the entire school to get an idea of the consumption and thereby to get the best possible insight on how we, as a community, can reduce our annual usage. We will manage the formulation of the problem by including the school’s “Energy Team”, where the four of us, as representatives, will be put in the position as the speakers.

We will be looking into these challenges by seeking solutions within both behaviour among the students and the staff at the school, as well as with technical solutions based upon the statistics that will contribute to our future research.

We will, among many things, be looking into how we can exploit the yearly amount of rain we are provided with in Denmark, and how we by that, can use our facilities at the school to save a greater amount of clean water annually, as well as how we can make use of recycling water for the case of sanitation, among others.

Vordingborg Gymnasium & HF (Denmark)

The Saviors of Coastal Waters


Wetlands: A Multifunctional Solution

The pollution of the water environment by nitrogen and phosphor is one of the largest environmental issues in our lakes, fiords and open sea areas. This problem appears in Denmark and in most European countries as well. Large emissions of nitrogen cause an increased growth of planktonic algae, which affect the ecosystem negatively. The Danish lakes, fiords and sea areas are very important habitats for many plants and animals, and the nitrogen pollution limits the biodiversity. A wetland works as a filter which cleanses the flow of water for nitrogen. The wetlands can thereby contribute to the reduction of the supply of nitrogen to the inner Danish coastal waters, so the water environment improves. To investigate how nitrate is converted in an ecosystem, we are going to conduct an experiment with denitrification. In the experiment we use water samples and sediment from the wetlands on Nyord as a starting point, to show that the nitrate content in the water samples and sediment by denitrification is converted to gaseous nitrogen.

Vordingborg Gymnasium & HF (Denmark)

The Sea Defenders

Engineering & Technology

Biomagnification of Microplastic in the Food Chain

Lately, there has been huge global focus on microplastic in the oceans. Vordingborg municipality is the municipality in Denmark with the longest coastline, wherefore we wonder why there still aren’t performed any research about microplastic in the waters at our municipality. Therefore, we have decided to investigate whether the global problems caused by the spread of microplastic also is relevant for our waters in Vordingborg municipality. To confine our project, we have chosen the focus biomagnification in the food chain and investigate bird-excrements for microplastic. Primarily, we will examine under microscopes and from that perspective picture the extent of microplastic in the sea environment in Vordingborg municipality. Additionally we will contact Vordingborg municipality and ask if they have any interest in examining the waters in the municipality. We will discuss and consider biodiversity because we primarily touch issues like the food chain and the eco-system.

Lycee Saint Joseph (France)

Saint Joseph 1


The Impact of Human Activity on the Rivers Water Quality of Our Town, Vervins (Picardie, France)

We have studied the biodiversity of the rivers in our city during two years. We have observed a degradation of this biodiversity because of a decrease of the oxygen level. We think that this reduction is caused by domestic pollution. Could we improve the situation by combining technical progress and informing and educate the citizens? First we observed the diatoms and macro invertebrates, as well as physico-chimics parameters. Then, we have decided to re-oxygenate the water thanks to a simple process based on a waterfall system modeled by us. So now, we should observe a better biodiversity with our system by following the placement of this system. To continue this approach, we decided to educate the inhabitants so they could understand what we’re doing and help reduce the pollution. With our waterfall system and the increase of awareness, we should see a significant amelioration of the number of the species present in the water and thus a better biodiversity.

Dillmann-Gymnasium (Germany)



Tap Versus Bottled Water: Water Preferences in Germany

In Germany, tap water has a high quality and is potable water approved. It is commonly used for drinking and cooking. Nevertheless, many people prefer to drink bottled water.

In this project, the students will first conduct a survey at our school to analyze young people’s patterns, beliefs and organoleptic appreciations of their peers. Furthermore, they will select a few brands of bottled water, whose springs are located in the surrounding area. Then the contents of the selected bottled water will be compared to our tap water. Based on these results, the students will get information about the general influences of these specific minerals in water. In this context the students will organize a blind tasting of the different kinds of water.

Next, the students will present the results of their theoretical groundwork to their fellow students in the chemistry lesson. The presentation’s objective is to raise the students’ awareness of the contents of bottled water versus tap water. Following the presentation, the students will perform experiments to analyze mineral content in both kinds of water to support their theory.

The overall aim is to arrive at a conclusion on whether one kind of water is preferable ecologically and economically as well as with regard to health.

Center for Young Scientists (Indonesia)


Engineering & Technology

Domestic Waste Management System Community Based Sanitation (SANIMAS) in Kampung Kodok Br. Tunggal Sari Desa Dauh Peken Tabanan

This research aims at exploring the effectiveness of society involvement in processing domestic-waste water using Communal-Waste Water Treatment Plant (CWWTP) under the scheme of Community Based Sanitation (SANIMAS) Program. Sanimas is a program conducting to achieve the Millennium Development Goals wherein the Society involve in planning, technology selection, construction, operating, and maintenance under mentoring process provided by a facilitator appointed by the Central Government.

To obtain data and meet the objectives of this research, direct observation and laboratory testing to see the effectiveness and role of community in Sanimas Program for Kampung Kodok in Bali. The results shows that community participation has taken great role in determining system and technical approach to deploy, management process in the provision and financing of the system, sustainability of the system, and culture development of the community. The system has been effectively meeting technical parameters required for environmental protection as it is determined by the Regulation of the Ministry for Environment, keeping sustainability of the system, as well as transforming hygiene behavior of the community.

International Christian University High School (Japan)



Japanese’s Extravagant Consumption of Water and How Education Can Ameliorate the Situation

Last year, Japanese have spent 300 billion yen on mineral water. This gigantic expenditure of water reveals the unawareness of Japanese tap water safety and their low interest in global water issues.

Japanese invest vast amount of money into water industry by buying a filter or pricey bottled water such as Hydrogen water; it is completely wasteful. People who demand more and more clean water are unaware of severe water pollution in other countries. They prioritize their demand for cleaner water, looking for better, healthier water constantly. We postulate that Japanese’s luxurious but wasteful expenditure on water is due to their low awareness towards water pollution and water shortage worldwide. Extremely small number of people is aware of the water issues and solution; even amongst the ones with awareness, few move their thoughts into action.

Thus, we aim to analyze and research ways in which our community can contribute to the decrease our lavish use of money regarding water problems by education. Preventing the society from squandering the money allows Japan to invest in 27 million people suffering from water shortage. We hope our research will contribute to Japan actively solving the global water issues and spur other countries too.

Kumon Kokusai Senior High School (Japan)



Issues of Water Conservation in Japan

People think Japan has surplus water and so are prone to water waste. Japan receives 70~80% of its rainfall during the monsoon (June-July) and typhoon (August-September) seasons. With climate change, this cycle is suffering damage. Studies show a long-term increase in intense rain and expect longer and more frequent drought periods in the future. With Japan’s short, fast flowing rivers, heavy rainfall leads to flooding and erosion. Storing an adequate water supply is problematic.

The majority of Japanese people are not aware of this issue, so it is vital to spread awareness. By studying successful campaigns in Japan and other countries, we may find ways to convince companies and media in Japan to champion water conservation.

We will focus not just on awareness, but also on practical solutions. As Japan is one of the top rice producers in the world, we also focus on saving water in agriculture. There is already some available technology such as rice which can be grown in saltwater or red rice that does not require flooding to grow.

By analyzing this issue, we hope to make Japan rich in water and to set a good example for the world.

Makuhari Senior High School (Japan)


Engineering & Technology, Communities, Biodiversity

For Sustainable Inba

Lake Inba is the largest lake in Chiba prefecture and provides water for more than five hundred thousand people living in the region. It also has a long history of cultivation, starting from the Edo period. However, in recent years, it is also infamous for being the most polluted lake in Japan. Factors such as domestic and industrial wastewater, geographical features of the lake and natural disasters contribute to the pollution. Currently, Lake Inba has an annual COD average of 11 mg/L, which is approximately three times the annual COD average of Japan. To mitigate the pollution, both nationwide and local measures, such as the “circulating purification system”, improvement of sewage systems, and raising awareness amongst residents have been taken. Despite these approaches, Lake Inba has yet to clear its water pollution. Furthermore, issues including water caltrops, the decreasing of aquatic plants, and financial difficulties are on the rise. We feel that as people using water drawn from Lake Inba, it is our strong interest to propose effective solutions to make Lake Inba a more reliable, and sustainable water resource. We also believe that many of the methods could be adapted in other regions or nations having similar problems.

Makuhari Senior High School (Japan)

THAP Water


Water Efficiency in Japan

Our group (1) researched about the pros and cons associated with Japan’s water supply, and (2) we suggest ways to use water efficiently.

From this, we discuss the good and bad points of using tap water as a drinking supply. Moreover, the efficiency of the water supply infrastructure is talked about based on the history of waterworks. Points are made regarding the waterworks facilities and the people’s health from drinking tap water, and then are used to show the importance of using water effectively.

Further research is done by conducting several experiments to clarify the pros and cons of tap water and by researching about Mannou Lake in Kagawa prefecture. Moreover, using data from The Bureau of Waterworks, we propose some solutions to increase water efficiency and to maintain the current infrastructure.

In conclusion, we are focusing on problems regarding the water supply in Japan, and we are presenting solutions not only to developed countries, but to also developing countries lacking in sufficient infrastructure. We are confident that our research will increase awareness on how important it is to use water effectively.

Narita Kokusai High School (Japan)

Narikoku Team A


The Waste of Water in Japan

Japan is known as a country which has a high annual precipitation. We have a lot of rain during rainy season and much snow in winter. As a result, we, Japanese, tend to use more water than necessary. We sometimes keep running water while taking shower, brushing our teeth and doing the dishes. Nowadays, however, even Japan is said to be short of water especially in summer. This might be due to global warming, but our habit of using much water might cause such water shortage.

On the other hand, we learned that people in some countries can’t get enough water to use in their daily life. Compared with those countries, Japan is blessed with water. Now, we, young Japanese should reconsider the importance of water. We should think of ways of helping people in those countries suffering from water shortage.

In summary, we want to study how to inform Japanese people of the importance of water and ways of reducing water usage. In addition, we want to provide a specific suggestion for helping people in water poor countries.

Narita Kokusai High School (Japan)

Narikoku Team B


Sessui or Saving Water ~To Live with Water~

In Japan we sometimes hear that we should conduct sessui or save water. Do we really have to save water? Japan is said to be rich in water. In fact, we have a lot of rain in the rainy or tsuyu season. We have also much snow in winter. The reason why we decided this theme is that we had a few questions for water-saving in our life. Through this theme we will be able to understand water- saving deeper than now.

First, we want to know what concept about water saving Japanese and foreigners have. Second, is it really necessary for Japanese to save water? Then, how can we save water?

We construct two hypotheses. The first hypothesis is that the concept of water-saving may vary from culture to culture or from area to area. The second hypothesis is that using too much water may cause various problems such as global warming as well as hard-pressed family budget.

By proving these hypotheses, we want to know the importance of water-saving. And then, we want to spread our study results in the communities by using SNS and brochures we make.

Sakura High School (Japan)


Stewardship & Policy

Preserving the Native Eco-System of the Inba Swamp

In these past few years in Japan, many places have problems with invasive species. Inba Swamp is one of these places. Inba Swamp is near our school and Narita airport.

There are many kinds of dangerous invasive species living and breeding, for example, Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina), American Crayfish (procambarus clarkii), Black bass (Micropterus salmoides), and Alligator Weeds (Alternanthera philoxeroides). Especially, Snapping Turtles and Alligator Weeds damage the native environment. It is not good for the environment and native species.

We are also nervous that the invasive species destroy the environment even more. So, we are researching the most effective way to reduce the number of invasive species, and if it is possible, utilize them. We would like to make the environment better than now in the end.

We will speak with qualified specialists, laboratories, and find ways to deal with this problem.

In July 2018, we will explain our findings.

Shibuya Senior High School (Japan)



Recovering Water Quality in Tokyo Bay

In past years, Tokyo Bay had been the fundamental center of aquamarine culture and business, until the sudden waves of modernization in the 70s polluted the water to a severe extent. Since the events of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be held partly in Tokyo Bay, we researched the current situation through interviews with the government and NPOs coming up with solutions to improve the water quality.

The causes of the pollution are heavily connected with our daily routines, which directly affect the waters that were once abundant in marine life. By educating the people in our communities and raising awareness to prevent pollution, we can take some steps towards a cleaner, purified Tokyo Bay.

Through this project, the next generation is going to be our target audience. We plan on giving presentations to elementary school students residing around the Tokyo Bay area, outlining the basic issues of water in the Bay, and encouraging them to start taking initiatives for its recovery. Involving the students in our plan will help contribute to water purification in the future generations, and raise awareness in the local communities.

Shibuya Senior High School (Japan)

The Golden Carp

Engineering & Technology

Use of Filters and UV Rays for a Dual-Filtering System during Disasters

The 3.11 earthquake showed us the reality that Japan was unprepared for such a large-scale disaster. Especially in large cities, due to the large population, the demand for water during disasters is high; creating a situation in which there may not be enough water for all.

It is typically said that people can only survive without water for three days and therefore, our group concluded that we need to create a system which allows people to have access to safe water.

We intend to achieve this through a dual-filtering system that uses filters and ultraviolet (UV) rays to purify fresh water from local sources such as lakes and rainwater. The collected water first goes through a filter composed of pebbles, activated charcoal, and then gauze removes the remaining contaminants, converting the fresh water to hyaline water. Once this is processed, UV rays are used to sterilize the water which may be contaminated with dangerous bacteria. Since UV rays are absorbed by black, we will create the machine with a black plastic box and a glass lid designed to collect UVB (a type of UV ray) to sterilize. We hope this system helps create enough safe water for all.

Tokyo Gakugei University International Secondary School (Japan)


Engineering & Technology

The Quality of Japanese Water

The purpose of our research is to examine the quality of Japanese water and find out what causes making water dirty. It is said that Japanese tap water that we drink every day is very clean and safe. However, we thought that all the tap water in Japan can’t be the same quality because the place that the water comes from and way that we use to make water clean in different. Not only the tap water but also the quality of dirty water in Japan like the water of river can’t be the same because it differs by the environmental conditions. So we thought that if we could find out what causes making water dirty, it will be very meaningful to make the quality of water higher. For this research, we’re going to measure BOD (Biochemical Oxygen Demand) to judge how clean the water is because this is the easiest way for us to find out how clean the water is so that we can do experiments many times and make our data of experiments more reliable.

d’Oultremontcollege (The Netherlands)

Dutch Aqua Scientists


Water Problems in Fortified Cities

In the Netherlands there are a lot of ‘fortified cities’, these where build in the Middle Ages. Back then these cities where known for their great water systems. Nowadays, however, they have to cope with a lot of water problems. The aged methods of disposing water aren’t capable of dealing with the amounts of rainwater we are getting these days.

Our goal for this project is to find a solution for this intensifying problem without taking away the authenticity and beauty of these ‘fortified cities’.

We base our project around Heusden, which is a ‘fortified city’ near our school. Here we’ll observe the environment and the old pumping engine. After this we’ll come up with solutions and make our final advisory report.

d’Oultremontcollege (The Netherlands)


Engineering & Technology

The Rainwater Problem in the Netherlands

The Netherlands is a country that is known for its excess of rain, but what if we could use this amount of rain in a more efficient and inexpensive way? For example, when it has rained a lot, all the rain flows into the sewer. But because the sewer can’t handle all the rain, the sewer overflows and the streets flood. This causes a huge problem for the citizens of the city.

Rainwater is relatively clean. These days, it gets mixed up with sewage water. It costs a lot of energy to clean all the water and it is highly unnecessary. By not transporting rainwater, but by collecting the water separately, we can reduce the amount of wastewater. A perfect solution would be to reuse rainwater in and around the house.

In our research, we will be working with different companies. The main purpose of our project is to find a more efficient way to cope with the problems that rainwater causes. We want to try to tackle the wastewater problem and we want to find a way to regenerate energy with the rainwater.

Maurick College (The Netherlands)

Maurick 1

Biodiversity, Education and Stewardship & Policy

The Influence of the Tide on the Drowned Land of Saeftinghe

The Drowned Land of Saeftinghe is a large-scale, salt marsh wilderness, situated in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen province. The influence of the tide on the Drowned Land of Saeftinghe is clearly visible. Water is continuously changing the landscape. This protected area mainly consists of three regions: sand banks, mud banks and salt marshes. Sand and mud banks are barely vegetated but house many small animals. Because of this, these regions are extremely important foraging areas for birds. Salt marshes are dry during both low and high tide and are suitable for plant growth and are important breeding and resting grounds for many bird species.

The fieldtrip to the Drowned Land of Saeftinghe is part of an annual exchange project. During this fieldtrip, students work on their theoretical knowledge about ecology as well as performing fieldwork. They investigate both biotic and abiotic factors that influence life in the Drowned Land of Saeftinghe. Based on their findings, students answer the main question: To what extent does the tide affect the Drowned Land of Saeftinghe?

Maurick College (The Netherlands)

Maurick 2

Engineering & Technology


As part of the waterfactory within Maurick College a full aquaponics system will be built and set into process in the first half year of 2018.

Instead of using dirt or toxic chemical solutions to grow plants, aquaponics uses highly nutritious fish effluent that contains all the required nutrients for optimum plant growth. Instead of discharging water, aquaponics uses the plants, naturally occurring bacteria and the media in which they grow in to clean and purify the water, after which it is returned to the fish tank. This water can be reused indefinitely and will only need to be topped-off

when it is lost through transpiration from the plants and evaporation. Our factory will use only 1/10th of the water of soil-based gardening and even less water than hydroponics or recirculating aquaculture. Gardening chores are cut down dramatically or eliminated.

The research project presented in the Water is Life Conference will cover the installation of the aquaponics system and getting the system into a long term sustainable process for producing food and fish.

Julia Michels & Lina van Oirschot will present their final paper during the Water is Life Conference in Japan

St. Odulphus Lyceum (The Netherlands)

Bram Doornbos en Toon van Reissen

Engineering & Technology


Our climate is changing and the consequences of this change are already causing problems in major Dutch cities. Due to climate change the average temperature will have risen 1.0 ⁰C and precipitation will have increased with as much as 5 percent by 2030 in the Netherlands. This might not sound that dramatic and it would not be that dramatic if this 5 percent were evenly spread out over a whole year but that is not the case as one record breaking downpour after the other have occurred in recent years. Dutch sewage systems already have problems with the drainage of rainwater during an average shower, these outmoded systems can barely keep the streets from flooding. The combination of an outdated sewage system together with the increase of rainfall will cause massive flooding problems for Dutch cities in the near future.

In our research we searched for possibilities to make buildings rainproof. Moreover we looked at all the possibilities to use rainwater or to infiltrate rainwater as effectively as possible on and around our school which is in a heavily urbanised area. After we had analysed every possibility we made a plan for our school taking the financial aspects into account.

Kopernik Lyceum (Poland)


Engineering & Technology

Rybnik Lake as an Unconventional Water Reservoir

Rybnik region is located in southern Poland in Central Europe. It is inhabited by half a million people. The landmark of our region is a water reservoir (known as Rybnik Lake), created for the needs of Rybnik coal-fired power station. It was built in 1972 and its original role was to cool down machines producing electricity. No one expected that nowadays it would get a new role which is not connected with industry.

The aim of our project is to show the history, the construction plan and the usage of Rybnik water reservoir in technological processes of energy production. Furthermore, we intend to present it as a place which has combined Rybnik inhabitants’ professional work with their private lives. We would like to show the importance of Rybnik Lake in everyday life of the local community and the natural environment.

Raffles Institution (Singapore)


Engineering & Technology

Zinc Content in Metal Alloys and Its Relationship to the Antimicrobial Efficacy in Decontaminating Polluted Water

Metals such as copper and zinc are known to exhibit antimicrobial effects against bacteria via the oligodynamic effect by oxidising the cell membrane and disabling key proteins in the bacterial cell leading to cell death. This study aims to investigate if dynamic immersion of metals is able to effectively decontaminate water polluted with phosphate ions, and compare the antimicrobial efficacy of zinc, copper, brass and dezincified brass against E. coli. AAS, EDX and SEM analysis were conducted to investigate the ion release and passivation behaviour metals in the immersion media. The results of this study suggest that zinc exhibits greater antimicrobial efficacy than copper in dynamic immersion, the alloying of zinc with copper in brass results in an increase in antimicrobial efficacy. While moderate dezincification of brass results in decreased antimicrobial efficacy, further dezincification could result in improved antimicrobial efficacy. This study also suggests that the antimicrobial efficacy of brass samples (but not copper and zinc) are inhibited by phosphate ions in solution. The results of this study may have current and future impacts on water decontamination solutions in less developed regions, such as encouraging a more widespread use of brass in water decontamination strategies.

Raffles Institution (Singapore)



A Case-Study Investigation into the Effectiveness of Waterbody Management: Lorong Halus Wetland

With the emergence of rapid urbanisation in recent decades, cities worldwide have developed numerous ways to better manage their waterbodies, which have become increasingly integral features of the communities they are situated in. The Lorong Halus Wetland was originally a dumping ground from 1970 to 1999. With the damming of the nearby Serangoon river to form a reservoir in 2006, contaminated water leaching from the wasteland became a serious concern, triggering its makeover into a wetland to protect the reservoir’s water quality. This project aims to gain a deeper insight into waterbody management by examining the case study of Lorong Halus Wetland. In addition to evaluating the effectiveness of the bio-remediative processes through readings of nitrate, phosphate, heavy metal concentration and dissolved oxygen, this project will consider the utilisation of Lorong Halus Wetland as a community space for interaction under the Active, Beautiful and Clean Waters programme as well as its value in education to boost public awareness of water conservation. Such an investigation could not only highlight possible areas for improvement for the management of Lorong Halus Wetland at a local scale, but also provide broader insights into the role which waterbodies play in their respective communities today.

River Valley High School (Singapore)



Research on Active, Beautiful and Clean (ABC) Waters

To strengthen Singapore’s social fabric, the government has launched several projects to bring people together, one of which is the Active, Beautiful, Clean (ABC) Waters Programme. Under the ABC Waters Programme, Singapore’s National Water Agency, the Public Utilities Board (PUB) has embarked on a journey to harness the full potential of our waters by integrating them with our environment. This has led to an improvement in the water quality, enhanced biodiversity, new water recreational space for people and the development of ABC Water Parks within our community. This research aims to improve Pandan Reservoir so as to increase visitation rates by attracting more future park users, especially young people aged 15-25. Preliminary research regarding opinions of visitors to Pandan and Bedok has shown that Bedok is better in fulfilling the goals of an ABC Water Park as compared to the Pandan Reservoir Park. Hence, we will adapt the features and elements of Bedok Reservoir to further enhance Pandan Reservoir, and also introduce new ones, so as to cater to the needs of young people. In the long run, we envisage that such suggestions would maximise community bonding through the integration of water activities, therefore achieving the goals of the ABC Waters Programme.

River Valley High School (Singapore)


Engineering & Technology

What is a Water Efficient Canteen?

Singapore has the world’s third highest population density, with 5.6 million people inhabiting 719.1km2 of land. This poses a perpetual challenge to Singapore’s water sustainability given her limited land area and natural water catchment. This project addresses the issue of water sustainability by exploring the concept of self-sufficiency at the microscale of water usage in a school canteen. Through an investigation into the infrastructural design and water usage culture of our school canteen through the spatial analysis of the canteen’s sink and outlet layout, in depth surveys of stakeholders of the canteen and observational data of water usage habits, insights were derived about the principles of water efficiency, such as water recycling and waste minimization. These insights inform the design of a water efficient canteen as a viable modification and improvement of current infrastructure as well as social norms such as the consciousness of water wastage. Incorporating both engineering strategies to improve water usage efficiency as well as initiatives to effect social change in school, the project outcome is a blueprint that incorporates proposed solutions to achieve a water efficient canteen.

St Andrews College & Diocesan School for Girls (South Africa)

Crystal Clear

Engineering & Technology

The Effect of Natural, Bio-Absorbent Substances on Heavy Metal Removal

Water is the most important substance on this planet -without it, there would be no life. Water pollution is one of the biggest problems we face today, especially in the place we reside: Grahamstown. The purpose of this project is to test whether natural, bio-absorbent substances can remove heavy metals from contaminated water. Our approach is to design a filter to maximize the removal of heavy metals from contaminated water using the selected substances. The project aims to create an easy and cheap way to remove heavy metals from contaminated water using natural substances found in South Africa, where water is badly contaminated with heavy metals, in addition we are experiencing a severe drought, so we want to preserve our water. Taking dangerous, contaminated water that before would be undrinkable due to heavy metal contamination and purifying it to make it drinkable without using expensive, dangerous chemicals and machinery.

Collegi Mare de Deu del Carme (Sapin)

Young Managers

Stewardship & Policy

Public or Private Management of Water?

The way water supply is managed in a city is always a cause for discussion. Depending on its public or private management the price, taxes to be paid by the citizens, environmental impact and the quality of water may vary. The management of the water supply in our city is currently private but the town hall officials are trying to make it public, so there are jobs and company procedures at stake.

With our project we are comparing the way the water systems are managed in cities which are very similar to ours (similar population, living conditions, weather…). We have chosen a city in Japan (Matsumoto) and a city in The Netherlands (Eindhoven) and we aim to find out which city has the most appropriate water management and what the reasons for it are. We will take into account the water bill to be paid by the inhabitants in these cities as well as the quality, taste and sustainability level offered with the service.

Our findings will be stated in a report that will be sent to the water company in our city and also to the officials in the City Hall of our city in the hope that we can contribute to help them reach the best agreement for the city and for all the users of the service.

Collegi Mare de Deu del Carme (Spain)

Young Scientists


Drinking in Life: The Importance of Water

The human body is made up of over 50% water, and this percentage varies with age, gender and weight, and as such it plays a very important part in the organism. However, we often “forget” to drink the necessary amount of water that our body needs everyday so our skin, hair and external appearance start to show signs of distress, which is nothing but a reflection of what is going on in the inside.

Our project is to observe how different amounts of water drunk by teenagers affect them internally and externally. The group of teenagers to be tested will drink different quantities of water over a period of three months and urine tests will be run to observe the different results and indicators in each of the cases. We will also compare their external appearance and how they feel after changing their water consumption habits.

This study ultimately intends to help young people understand the impact the quantity of water we need to drink every day has on our organism and educate consumers to make the appropriate decisions concerning their health.

Mahidol Wittayanusorn School (Thailand)

MWITS Team 1


The Efficiency of Mushroom and Fungi Isolated from Soil and Effluent for Decolorizing Red Reactive Dye

Wastewater from textile industry contains the high amount of reactive dye. Fungi decomposition is biotechnology used for decreasing color of dye in wastewater. This research aimed to isolate and evaluate fungi capability from soils and effluents collected from the manufacturing areas in Nakhon Pathom province and mushrooms (Pycnoporus sanguineus and Lentinus squarrosulas) from Thailand Bioresource Research Center for decolorizing red reactive dye. A total of 12 fungal isolates were obtained from soils and effluents. After that, the dye removal efficiency of the selected strains was determined in Potato Dextrose Broth (PDB) containing 50 mg/l red reactive dye. The treatments were incubated with shaking 120 rpm at 30 degrees Celsius for 3 days. Isolates F1, E3 and E4, the 3 most efficiency fungi, could reduce the color intensity at 95.26%, 93.23% and 92.48% respectively. The most efficiency mushroom was Lentinus squarrosulas with 86.02% decolorization. Thus, they will be selected to test for their efficiency at pH 4, 7 and 8, and decolorizing red reactive dye at concentrations of 50-125 mg/l. The best condition of each strain will be used for immobilization by adding 10 fungal discs into flasks containing with corncob and loofah that saturated with PDB. The results will useful for decolorization of reactive dye in wastewater.

Mahidol Wittayanusorn School

MWITS Team 2

Engineering & Technology

Development of Paper-Based Sensor with Portable Device for Real Time Fieldwork Detection of Arsenic in Water Resources by Electrochemical Method

In some water resources, the concentration of contaminated arsenic (As) still exceeds the maximum permission level of the World Health Organization (10 μg / L). As the standard methods which normally employ for metal determination require the specialists to operate the instruments, the straightforward technic was therefore developed in this study. This work presents the paper-based sensor based on electrochemical method which is anodic stripping voltammetry (ASV). This method is easy to use and providing high sensitivity. The current peaks vs applied potential were observed to measure the amount of As(III) in the samples. It was found that the square wave voltammetry (SWV) technic with deposition potential at 0.1 V is the most suitable conditions for As(III) detection. The Working Electrode (WE) and the Counter Electrode (CE) were screened by graphene ink whereas the Reference Electrode (RE) was screened by Ag / AgCl. In addition, gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) were modified on the surface of the electrode to enhance the efficiency of the paper-based sensor. The difference of current between background and arsenic solution at 20 ppm is 21.7547 µA. The paper-based sensor can be connected to the portable device and computer notebook for real time fieldwork detection of arsenic in any water resources.

Detroit Country Day School (USA)

Yellow Jackets

Steward & Policy

The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement: Challenges and Solutions

The Great Lakes system contains 20% of the world’s fresh water, and is shared by the United States and Canada. In the 1970s, the Great Lakes were heavily polluted and lacked a legislative framework for environmental protection. In response to the dismal state of the Great Lakes, the most important piece of legislation passed was the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, most recently updated in 2012.

Our goal is to analyze the GLWQA’s effectiveness in protecting the Great Lakes ecosystem. We will identify areas of the Agreement that are lacking/ineffective, and propose practical solutions. Afterwards, we will contact local congressional representatives and propose our findings.

Our research focuses on 5 main policy areas: Chemical pollution, Nutrient influx, Invasive Species, Discharge from Vessels, and Climate Change. Our investigations of invasive species and discharge revolved around identifying gaps in legislation that prevent effective regulation. Our investigations of pollution focused primarily on identifying major causes of pollutant influx into the lakes and finding potential solutions to pollution/runoff. Our investigation of climate change focused mainly on the impact it has on the Great Lakes ecosystem, as well as potential local and national solutions to address both the symptoms and the underlying cause.

Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School (USA)

Team Falcon


Effects of Bicarbonate Addition on Montipora Growth Rate and Calcification

Dissolved inorganic carbon is used by hard corals to build calcium carbonate skeletons. The skeletal growth of corals involves two different processes. The first process occurs at night in which a Calcium carbonate crystal framework is laid down. The next day, the nucleation of the new crystals results in increased skeletal density. Due to increased CO2 emissions in the atmosphere and the subsequent increase in carbonic acid in the ocean, there is less and less carbonate available to calcium carbonate skeleton building organisms, such as coral. Previous studies have shown that the addition of 2 mM bicarbonate to tanks of branching corals, such as Porites porites, has doubled the calcification rate of the coral skeleton. (Marubini et al., 1999) This experiment will determine what concentration of NaHCO3 will maximize photosynthesis, growth rate, and calcification of Montipora corals.

Arundel School (Zimbabwe)

Arundel Team


Rainwater Harvesting for Recharging Boreholes

Rainwater harvesting is a system that intercepts rainwater in the hydrological cycle through natural landforms or artificial facilities with the intention of preserving it for future use. Urbanization has resulted in increased water demand in cities. The local authorities cannot meet the demand hence the water scarcity in areas like Mount Pleasant in Harare. Arundel School intends to play an active role in implementing Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) through setting up a rainwater harvesting system that makes use of water from gutters and downspouts to recharge underground water supplies for borehole use in the school and surrounding Mount Pleasant community.

Our school has an old and derelict dam which does not have inflow from streams, this dam will be used as a rainwater collection point. We will increase its capacity by dredging it.

Our project aims to identify leaks in the catchment area and block them where possible, as well as assess the water retention of the dam. This will be done by calculating annual rainfall, water demand and evaporation patterns within the catchment area.