July 30, 2008
Atlanta-area high school student receives national journalism award for reporting on local drought conditions
ITT sends youth to Stockholm, Sweden to cover global water symposium
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., July 30, 2008 – Katy Wood, 17, of Acworth, Ga. is the recipient of the third annual ITT Award for Excellence in Student Water Journalism, in recognition of her exploration of the Southeastern water shortage in an article titled, "A Lack of Lakes: Georgia Water Crisis." ITT Corporation, a global leader in water technology, created this award to recognize aspiring journalists and encourage them to explore and report on water-related, environmental issues.
Over the past two years, Georgia has struggled to adapt to the receding Lake Lanier, Atlanta's primary water source. In response to its worst drought in recent history, the state mandated massive water restrictions and debated water rights with neighboring Florida and Alabama until the federal government mediated an interstate agreement in October of last year. Wood, a 2008 graduate of Wheeler High School's Center for Advanced Studies, a science magnet school in Marietta, Ga., tackled this controversial issue and discussed the overall impact of the drought on local communities in her article.
"Water consumption is growing twice as fast as the world population. We have a collective responsibility to protect and prepare our communities, as well as anticipating appropriate actions to deal with events such as the Southeast droughts," said Gretchen McClain, president of ITT's fluid technology business. "Each year this award encourages young people to play an active role in educating the public on the severity of these water issues and contributing to the dialogue that leads to solutions."
A panel of industry leaders and top environmental, science and water journalists assessed the contest entries and selected Wood's article from a pool of articles submitted nationwide. The panel, including judges representing National Geographic, MSNBC, Scientific American and Water Environment & Technology, chose Wood's article, which appeared in the Wheeler High School news magazine, The Catalyst, for its timeliness and national significance.
"Katy Wood's story speaks to an emerging water crisis that was almost a surprise when it arrived," said Dennis Dimick, judge and executive editor of National Geographic magazine. "As populations in the Southeast keep growing, her story, and the challenges it presents, will only become more relevant."
As part of the award, Wood and her journalism faculty advisor, Sarah Wheatley, will receive a trip to Stockholm, Sweden to attend and report from the 2008 Stockholm Water Symposium, which takes place during World Water Week from August 17 through August 23. Wood will also receive a $1,000 scholarship from ITT, which she will use to attend Duke University starting this fall. Wood's winning article is available online at http://itt.com/news/global-activities/water-journalism/.
In addition to the journalism award, ITT is the global sponsor of the Stockholm Junior Water Prize (SJWP), which is awarded during the Stockholm Water Symposium. The SJWP is the most prestigious international competition recognizing students for excellence in water science research. In 2008, national winners from nearly 30 countries will compete for the international prize, including first time participants from Singapore and Slovakia.
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