Aquatech China to explore sustainable water consumption for industrial market

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Angela Godwin, Chief Editor

The seventh installation of Aquatech China will take place June 25-27 in Shanghai. Since its inception in 2008, this event has seen consistent growth, increasing its number of exhibitors and visitors by nearly 50% year over year. It's quickly become a leading resource for the Chinese water sector where the limited water resources can't keep pace with the demand.

This year, Aquatech China is introducing a special one-day program specifically aimed at the industrial water and wastewater market. Called the Industrial Leaders Forum (ILF), the program was developed under the belief that addressing water scarcity challenges requires a unified approach by leaders in both the water and industrial water sectors -- not in separate silos. As Aquatech describes it: "By wasting less, polluting less, reusing more, managing effectively and becoming more efficient in all uses of water -- individual, collective, agricultural and industrial -- we can beat the challenges from severe water scarcity."

This is a timely topic, given that a recent report from the Chinese Ministry of Land and Resources revealed that the quality of underground water in China has worsened over the past year. An alarming 59.6% of sites monitored for underground water quality in 2013 were deemed "relatively poor" or "very poor" -- that's up from 57.4% in 2012.

The agency has been monitoring more than 4,700 locations in 203 cities. Of those, 43.9% were found to be 'relatively poor' quality, meaning they require treatment before being consumed. In 15.7% of the locations, though, the rating was 'very poor,' meaning they should not be consumed at all.

The report did not cite any specific causes for the polluted water supplies, but China's rapid industrialization and economic growth are widely regarded as major contributors.

"The environment is high on China's political agenda," said Debra Tan, Director of China Water Risk. "With the government waging a 'war on pollution,' it is clearly time to rethink water investments -- not just equity investments into the water sector but industrial capital expenditure in water technology to meet the new Chinese environmental regulations."

With that in mind, the Industrial Leaders Forum, which takes place on June 26, will feature an invitation-only roundtable discussion session where a variety of industrial water leaders -- philanthropists, investors, multinational corporations, academia, and government -- will participate in informal discussions on various topics. Some of these include: China's food, water and energy security and its impact on global trade; the concept of water as a value driver for industries; and China's ‘war on pollution' and how it impacts industry.

Following the roundtable session will be an interactive panel discussion featuring a diverse array of participants, including: AkzoNobel, Coca-Cola, H&M, HSBC, McKinsey & Company, World Wide Fund for Nature, and Yanjing Beer.

"The Industrial Leaders Forum at Aquatech China 2014 offers a platform for leaders from multiple sectors to discuss the next steps forward," Tan said, "be that in improving water efficiency, ensuring access to water for operations, investing in technological innovations or being good water stewards."

If you are interested in learning more about Aquatech China and the Industrial Leaders Forum, please visit www.aquatechtrade.com/china.

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