Past CWEA Board Member Megan Yoo Schneider on SJWP

Career Stories


State SJWP Competition

Entry Deadline: April 15, 2018| ENTER COMPETITION

To be eligible for the state competition, students must complete the online entry form and electronically submit their research paper. There are no specific paper guidelines at the state level, however the file cannot be larger than 2MB. Teams of one or two students may enter. Only one person from a team should submit the project online, but must complete the information for both team members if applicable.

Based on the papers, and in some cases personal interviews at science fairs, a group of water professionals will identify the best water-related science project from each state. State winners will be announced online at by May 5th of the competition year.  Some states may have an extended deadline; click below to find your state’s deadline.

State winners will receive an all-expenses paid trip the national SJWP competition, and must be available to attend the national competition during the third weekend of June, 2018.

Past CWEA Board member Megan Yoo Schneider talks with WEF about her career since she won the Stockholm Junior Water Prize in 2004 & 2005. (Interview from December 2013)

Her project:
Chlorination: Saving Lives Everyday, or Is It? A Study on the Formation of Trihalomethanes in Natural Water; Wanted: Safe and Healthful Water – No Strings

What are you doing now?

Since my participation in the WEF SJWP competition, I have pursued an education and career path solely devoted to the water environment, and I have a deep-rooted dedication and commitment to the industry. In 2006, I began working in the Operations & Maintenance and Planning groups at the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts (LACSD), where I was able to familiarize myself with all of LACSD’s wastewater treatment plants with hands-on experience and involvement, in addition to the regulatory and planning aspects of the industry. Following my experience in the public sector, I worked with Black & Veatch, a global engineering, consulting, and construction firm, where I expanded my knowledge of water and wastewater design and engineering, as well as marketing. I also worked with HDR Engineering, a comprehensive engineering consulting firm, and Hazen and Sawyer, where I was able to demonstrate my capabilities as both an engineer and marketing specialist, building both a strong portfolio of engineering projects and marketing pursuits.

How did the SJWP competition effect, or influence you?

Yes, Throughout both my professional and educational career, I have demonstrated a strong passion for the industry, and more importantly, its future. As a result, I have been very active with professional organizations, such as the Water Environment Federation (WEF) and California Water Environment Association (CWEA), both of which I have been a member of since 2004. I have dedicated countless hours in my efforts to promote the education and success of the younger generation, I served on the CWEA Board of Directors, Santa Ana River Basin Section (SARBS) Board of Directors as President-Elect, founder of the SARBS Students and Young Professionals Committee, Chair of the CWEA Southern Regional Committee, WEF SJWP Committee Vice-Chair, and more. Past contributions including creating the WEF Wastewater Challenge, serving on the conference steering committees for both the WEF Membrane Applications and WEF Collection Systems Specialty Conferences, Chair of the CWEA Students and Young Professionals Committee, CWEA Annual Conference Committee, and more. Thanks to the SJWP competition, I was introduced to WEF and CWEA, and with the complimentary membership that I received, I began to get involved…and I haven’t stopped since!

Would you care to give a testimonial about the SJWP?

My ultimate goal is to educate the next generation while ensuring the safety of their future by continuing to research and focus on pursuing regulations that not only benefit the environment, but the overall health of the people. The SJWP competition helped me to explore and further my goals through my research, and as I continued on through with my college education and began work, the SJWP competition opened hundreds of doors of opportunities in my life and career. The SJWP competition not only provided the foundation for an amazing career path, but the competition has provided me with lifelong friends in the water environment profession. My WEF and CWEA colleagues that I met through the SJWP competition are literally my family now, and I cannot attribute enough gratitude to the SJWP competition for the world of possibilities that it provided me (and all the other competitors) with. Thank you!

Started in 1997, the Stockholm Junior Water Prize (SJWP) is considered the most prestigious award for water-related science, both nationally and internationally. The prize was developed to model the Stockholm Water Prize, which has been compared to the Nobel Prize for water research.

The prize encourages enthusiasm in today’s youth regarding water issues, build an international community of young scientists bonded together for the water environment, raise public awareness about the future of water resources, and develop and ensure future leadership in the water-quality community by attracting the best and brightest young people into the water-sector field.

Your donation supports water-science learning through the Water Environment Federation’s relationship with the Stockholm International Water Institute. Donations will be used to directly support the U.S. SJWP National competition and/or the travel of students from the U.S. to the international competition in Stockholm, Sweden.

Both personal and corporate donations are welcome and appreciated at any level.

Donate here.