WaterPIX photo competition

Page Last modified 22 Mar 2023
4 min read
What comes to your mind when you think of water: summer holidays by the sea or fishing on a river? Or a stroll in the rain, feeling thirsty on a hot day, flood-damaged buildings, or spring cleaning at home? To highlight the importance of water in our daily lives, the European Environment Agency is organising the photography competition WaterPIX.

Submissions closed on 15 August 2018 and the competition winners were announced on 24 October 2018.

View the finalist entries in the Flickr album

The finalists’ entries were presented to an external jury composed of environmental communication experts from across Europe, who determined the winners in each thematic category (Water and us, Water and nature, and Water and the economy) as well as the winner of the Youth Prize. The Public Choice Award went to the finalist entry who got the most votes in the public vote open from 15 September to 15 October 2018.

Competition winners will receive a cash prize and all entries may be promoted by the EEA and its partners across Europe.

About the competition 

Water is everywhere. From the tiniest cells in our body, to vast oceans. Life on Earth — people, animals and plants — depends on it. Plants and animals need water to thrive and to survive. In many ways, we need to take better care of this vital resource. On the one hand, we extract large amounts from its natural setting to meet our needs. We release pollutants into our rivers, lakes and seas, where they accumulate over time. We change riverbeds, build dykes, trawl the ocean floor and catch more fish than nature can replace. On the other hand, we put in place measures to reduce pollution in water, overfishing and overuse of our water resources.

Every year, the EEA organises a photo competition to raise awareness about an environmental issue and allow Europeans to share their takes on that issue. This year’s competition WaterPIX focuses on the importance of clean water for all living things on our planet. 

WaterPIX photo competition logo

Participants could submit photographs depicting any of the following three categories:

1. Water and us

Clean water is vital for our lives. We drink it, bathe in it, cook with it… For some of us, water brings images of a cooling sea breeze in a summer evening, a sailing or fishing vacation. For others, water can also be a force of harm, impacting our health and homes. Floods can damage property and cause loss of life. Water shortages and droughts can severely impair cities and economic activities. What does water mean to you?

 2. Water and nature

Oceans and rivers are home to a rich variety of animal and plant life, providing not only for those living in water but all species depending on those water bodies, including people. Oceans also play a key role in ensuring a stable climate by providing less visible benefits. Can you capture the visible and the invisible benefits that water provides? Are water bodies in Europe in a healthy state? What are the threats?

3. Water and the economy

Water is essential for many of our economic activities. We use it not only to produce food and electricity, but also to manufacture everyday products ranging from computers to clothes. Rivers and seas have also been major trade routes, connecting countries and cultures. Water can also transport pollution — be it in form of hazardous chemicals or plastic particles — even to most remote parts of our planet. Can you capture the visible and the invisible role of water in economic activities around you? How does the economy impact water bodies? 

Additional information on the topics covered by WaterPIX can be found on the following EEA thematic pages:

The competition is open to citizens of the EEA member countries and West Balkan cooperating countries. All participants must be 18 or older. The photos must be taken in the countries mentioned above.

Competition entrants must have full copyrights to the submitted material. By submitting an entry, they are presumed to have agreed to accept the Competition rules and the Terms and Conditions. One entrant may submit maximum 5 entries in total in the competition. As each entry is handled separately, entrants need to fill out the online submission form for each entry if they chose to submit more than one entry.

If you have questions about the competition, please send us an email.

Competition details


The winners in each category (Water and me, Water in the nature, and Water in the economy) will be awarded a cash prize of EUR 1000, while EUR 500 is on offer for both the Public Choice Award and the Youth Prize.

The Youth Prize will be awarded to the winning entry, selected from those submitted by persons aged between 18 and 24 (born between calendar years 1994-2000) to any of the competition categories.

All finalists will be put forward for the Public Choice Award and may also feature in future digital and print material from the EEA and its European partners.

The copyright of the materials submitted for this competition remains with the respective participants. However, each entrant grants the EEA and its partners the right to use the submitted materials in its environmental communication crediting the copyright owners.

Selection process

The EEA will appoint a pre-selection committee consisting of communication and environment experts that will select 30-50 finalists. These will then be submitted to an external jury to be composed of environmental communication experts from across Europe will determine the winners, with the exception of the Public Choice Award.

For the Public Choice Award, the finalist entries put forward by the pre-selection committee will be open for a public vote from 15 September to 15 October 2018.

The winners will be notified by email and the official announcement of the winners will follow at the end of October 2018.


Submissions open 16 April 2018
Submissions close 15 August 2018
Public vote opens 15 September 2018
Public vote closes 15 October 2018
Winners announced      24 October 2018




Geographic coverage


Document Actions