F-M's Kunal Sangani wins national award for hydrofracking research

F-M's Kunal Sangani won the 2012 Stockholm Junior Water Prize for his project on hydraulic fracturing.

F-M's Kunal Sangani won the 2012 Stockholm Junior Water Prize for his project on hydraulic fracturing. Provided

— Kunal Sangani, a member of the Fayetteville-Manlius School District Class of 2012, has been named the U.S. winner of the 2012 Stockholm Junior Water Prize, an international competition for water-related research.

Kunal’s project, “Modeling and Environmental Analysis of Hydraulic Fracturing in Upstate New York,” was top among 49 state Stockholm Junior Water Prize winners at the national competition held June 14-16 in Boston.

Kunal received $3,000 and an all-expense paid trip to Stockholm, Sweden, where he will compete against winners from more than 30 countries for the international honor during World Water Week, August 25-30.

As part of the prize, F-M High School will receive a $1,000 grant toward enhancing water science education.

"The national competition in Boston was an amazing experience. I had the opportunity to meet several amazing kids who each represented their state and presented really intriguing research,” Kunal said. “Some of the research I saw presented was unbelievable: one kid developed a model to predict the storm surge of hurricanes when they reached landfall, and another kid was able to generate electricity from the filtration of water. Everyone had incredible projects, and I was really surprised when I was selected as the winner."

If he wins the international competition, Kunal will receive his award — $5,000 and a crystal sculpture — from HRH Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden during a royal ceremony held in conjunction with the Stockholm Water Symposium.

Kunal will also have the opportunity to present his research to thousands of water quality professionals at WEFTEC 2012—the Water Environment Federation's 85th annual technical exhibition and conference—Sept. 29 through Oct. 3 in New Orleans, La.

Kunal’s study examined various aspects of hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, on groundwater resources in upstate New York and presented a model for understanding its potential environmental impacts on the natural environment and groundwater resources.

“Kunal’s paper and the SJWP competition in general continues to reinforce my belief that the future of America’s water is in good hands,” said Mohamed F. Dahab, chair of the SJWP Review Committee. “The level of research and creativity presented by the young men and women who participated was simply outstanding.”

Download Kunal's winning research paper here.

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