Deepika Kurup achieves PEYA award for sustainable water purification

Recently, White House Council on Environmental Quality and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded Deepika Kurup, a 16-year old student from Nashua, with a “President’s Environmental Youth Award” (PEYA) for her innovative green and sustainable method to purify water.

Deepika Kurup developed the winning project, a light-weight photocatalytic composite that utilizes solar energy for water purification.

The PEYA program recognizes outstanding student leaders in environmental stewardship.

Her project also increased the awareness and the general public on how clean and safe water is an indispensable natural resource.


Kurup developed a simple and cost-effective methodology where a composite degrades organics in water and inactivates bacteria in sunlight, visible light or in the dark.

In addition, the project has helped to develop different prototypes for real-world applications.

She has filed a patent and plans to set up her invention in places that are affected by water pollution.

I am very much honored to be the EPA Region 1 recipient of the 2014 President’s Environmental Youth Award, explained Kurup.

The passion for solving the global water crisis since in elementary school helped her to achieve this recognition. She was exposed to the water problem at a very early age. She believes that environmental education is very important.

In a ceremony held at White House, 60 students from nine states across the nation were honored for their contributions to environmental stewardship.

Besides, 17 teachers were also recognized for outstanding efforts to implement environmental education in their schools and communities.

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