Inaugural Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize receives 39 nominations globally

The inaugural Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize, an international water prize named after Singapore's founding father, received 39 nominations from more than 15 countries when nominations closed three weeks ago. The Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize is the highlight of the Singapore International Water Week, which will be held for the first time in Singapore in June this year. It aims to recognize outstanding contributions towards solving the world's water challenges...

SINGAPORE, Jan. 10, 2008 -- The inaugural Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize, a prestigious international water prize named after Singapore's founding father, received 39 nominations from more than 15 countries when nominations closed three weeks ago.

The Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize is the highlight of the Singapore International Water Week, which will be held for the first time in Singapore in June this year. It aims to honour outstanding contributions towards solving the world's water woes by applying innovative technologies or implementing policies and programmes which benefit humanity. Nominations for the water prize are only accepted from experts in the water industry. This includes chief executive officers of multi-national companies and water utilities, leading academics in water research, policy and management, and members of government.

"We are extremely pleased with the quality and geographical spread of the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize nominations. There are a few very outstanding works amongst them and the highest number of nominations has been received from the Asia Pacific region," said Tan Gee Paw, Chairman of the Nominating Committee of the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize.

The nominations will go through two rounds of rigorous selection and the eventual Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize Laureate will be decided by a council comprising individuals of high international standing from the academia, international organisations and multi-national companies. The council is chaired by Dr Tony Tan, former Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore and the Chairman of Singapore's National Research Foundation. The first Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize Laureate will be announced in March 2008.

The recipient of the prize will receive S$300,000, an award certificate and a gold medallion at this year's Singapore International Water Week, held from 23-27 June 2008. The Singapore Millennium Foundation, a philanthropic body supported by Temasek Holdings, is the sole sponsor of the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize, pledging S$1.5 million over five years.

The Singapore International Water Week is a global platform for water solutions. It will bring policymakers, industry leaders, experts and practitioners together to address challenges, showcase technologies, discover opportunities and celebrate achievements in the water world.

Organised around the theme "Sustainable Water Solutions for Cities", the focus of the first Singapore International Water Week is on best practices, successful case studies and the practical delivery of water solutions and technologies.

Singapore's Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, will open the Singapore International Water Week in conjunction with the World Cities Summit. A distinguished slate of speakers has been lined up for this high-profile event, including Lee, who will deliver the opening address. Other speakers include Lord Ronald Oxburgh, member of the House of Lords and the advisory board of Climate Change Capital; and chief executives of international companies such as GE Infrastructure, Siemens Water, Black & Veatch, and Keppel Corporation.

"Water is a concern worldwide and increasingly, many countries will find it a challenge to secure water supplies for future generations," said Khoo Teng Chye, chief executive of PUB, Singapore's national water agency and the executive director of the Environment and Water Industry Development Council (EWI), which promotes the growth of Singapore's water industry. "The Singapore International Water Week will act as a melting pot for political and industry leaders to share their views and establish methods to address this global phenomenon."

In addition to the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize, other key events will include:
• The Water Leaders Summit, chaired by Singapore's Ambassador-at-Large Prof Tommy Koh, who is also chairperson of the Asia-Pacific Water Forum Governing Council. The summit will bring together decision-makers in government, utilities providers and water companies from around the world to network and discuss global issues and challenges.
• The Water Convention will focus on technology and practical delivery, with experts from industry and academia exchanging ideas on the latest advancements and applications.
• The Water Expo will be a major tradeshow where buyers and sellers of water technologies and solutions can meet, with more than 200 international exhibitors.
• The Water Festival will see events and water-based activities being organised for members of the public throughout Water Week.

The water industry: A billion-dollar growth sector
Singapore is all too familiar with the challenges of water scarcity. In the last 40 years, it has evolved from a nation with limited natural water resources into one that has ensured a diversified and sustainable water supply by having four water sources: local catchment, imported water, recycled water (branded NEWater) and desalinated water.

In the process of overcoming its water challenges, Singapore has developed capabilities in water-resource management and is fast developing into a hotbed for water technologies. It is home to a thriving cluster of more than 50 Singaporean and international water companies, including major players such as GE Water, Siemens Water, CH2MHill, Black & Veatch and Delft Hydraulics.

The national water agency, PUB, has been held up as a shining example of sustainable water management, winning the prestigious Stockholm Industry Water Award at World Water Week in Stockholm in August 2007.

The water industry has been identified as one of the key growth sectors for Singapore's economy. About S$330 million will be invested over the next five years to develop Singapore into a global hydrohub -- an international centre for the water industry and technologies. In line with this, the EWI was set up to help drive Singapore's goal to become a global hub for water technologies. The water sector is expected to triple its value-added contribution to the Singapore economy to S$1.7 billion and double the number of jobs in the industry to 11,000 by 2015.

Sponsors and strategic partners
Recognising the significance of the Singapore International Water Week, important industry players have come out in full support of the event. The founding sponsors include industry players such as Asahi Kasei, Black & Veatch, CDM, CH2MHill, Dayen Environment, Dow Water Solutions, Hyflux, Keppel Corporation, Salcon Pte Ltd, SembCorp Industries Ltd, Siemens Water, SUEZ Environnement, United Engineers Ltd and Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies (SEA).

The key strategic partners for the event include the International Desalination Association, International Water Association, the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and Singapore Water Association.

"Appropriately themed 'Sustainable Water Solutions for Cities', the Singapore International Water Week will showcase best practices and successful applications of technologies and innovative solutions to real-life water problems in highly urbanised environments," said the President of the International Water Association, Dr David Garman. "This initiative is apt and timely, particularly at a time when many urban communities worldwide are grappling with unprecedented shortages in water supply and are in need of implementable, practical solutions."

About the Singapore International Water Week
The Singapore International Water Week is the global platform for water solutions. It will bring policymakers, industry leaders, experts and practitioners together to address challenges, showcase technologies, discover opportunities and celebrate achievements in the water world.

Comprising the Water Leaders Summit, Water Convention and Water Expo, it culminates in the presentation of the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize, a prestigious international award to recognise outstanding contributions in solving water issues. The inaugural Singapore International Water Week will be held from 23 to 27 June 2008.

For more information: http://www.siww.com.sg

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