Singapore International Water Week opens gateway to India market

Companies will get the inside track on India's fast-growing water market at the upcoming Singapore International Water Week, a global platform for water solutions, to be held here this month. India will be the focus of one of seven regional business forums held on 25 and 26 June -- exclusive networking sessions that will introduce participants to senior government officials and potential business partners in India as well as China, South-east Asia, Japan, Australia, Europe and the Middle East...

• Business forum will act as a platform for discovering opportunities in this billion-dollar sector

SINGAPORE, June 18, 2008 -- Companies will get the inside track on India's fast-growing water market at the upcoming Singapore International Water Week, a global platform for the water solutions, to be held here this month.

India will be the focus of one of seven regional business forums held on 25 and 26 June -- exclusive networking sessions that will introduce participants to senior government officials and potential business partners in India as well as China, South-east Asia, Japan, Australia, Europe and the Middle East.

The sessions are an example of the high-level exchanges and business networking that will take place during Singapore International Water Week (23 to 27 June 2008), an annual summit, conference and trade show attended by over 5,000 representatives from governments, utilities, businesses and academia.

The Indian Business Forum on 26 June is a collaborative effort by PUB, Singapore's national water agency, and the Confederation of Indian Industry, with support from the Indian Water Works Association.

"The forum will be the next best thing to being in India itself," said Mr Michael Toh, General Manager of Singapore International Water Week. "Participants will get the scoop on upcoming water projects and development hot spots in India, and an introduction to industry trends and policies, which will be especially valuable to newcomers to the market."

"It can also be a matchmaking session to pair water solution providers with those with specific projects and needs," he said.

PUB Singapore and Maharashtra Water Supply and Sanitation Board, India sign MOU
At the Indian Business Forum, PUB Singapore will also sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Maharashtra Jeevan Pradhikaran (MJP) (Maharashtra Water Supply and Sanitation Board) of Mumbai, India to collaborate on Unaccounted for Water (UFW) reduction, wastewater reuse and training programmes with participation from Singapore water industry.

His Excellency Shri Ranjit Kamble, Minister of State for Water Supply & Sanitation Department, Government of Maharashtra and Hon. Shri Ranjit Kamble, Hon. Minister of State for Water Supply & Sanitation Department, Government of Maharashtra who is also the Vice Chairman of MJP will be present to witness the MoU signing ceremony.

As a result of this MoU, coupled with PUB's expertise and experience, Singapore water companies such as Teacly (S) Pte Ltd will take the lead to embark on a UFW project with MJP and a suitable local partner in India. According to the Ambernath-Badlapur water audit study, UFW reduction is one of the first few projects identified to be undertaken under the proposed MoU. The other projects identified are a 24-hour-7-day water supply, leak detection programme and implementation of water meters.

MJP or the Maharashtra Water Supply and Sanitation Board was renamed in 1997 with the primary objective to promote potable Water Supply and satisfactory sanitation facilities so as to achieve and maintain clean environment.

High-level speakers from government and industry
Addressing the forum will be several high-level government officials, including some from state and water authorities in India. They will be joined by representatives from trade and research organisations as well as key technology providers and financial institutions.

Dr. M Ramachandran, Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development, will deliver the keynote address. Mr Ravi Narayanan, Vice-Chairman of the Asia-Pacific Water Forum, will chair the first session, which will provide an overview of the sector, including policies, financing and tariffs, while a second session will delve into specific projects and opportunities.

At the India Business Forum, Dr K.S. Jawahar Reddy, Vice Chairman of the Hyderabad Urban Development Authority, will share its new initiatives for water management and related development projects.

Representatives from the Confederation of Indian Industry will speak about opportunities for public-private partnerships in the water sector, while the President of the Indian Water Works Association, Dr Sanjay Vyankatesh Dahasahasra, will be able to share his considerable technical expertise and more specific details on various projects.

India's water market: An overview
India's water market is one of the largest in the world, with industry sources valuing it at more than US$4 billion, with approximately one-third for water provisioning, one-third for municipal water treatment and one-third for industrial water treatment. The overall annual growth rate is 15 to 20 per cent, with the drinking-water and industrial segments growing even more rapidly.[1] India's urban water demand is expected to double, and its industrial demand to triple, by 2025.[2]

But despite a booming economy and advanced technological capabilities, India struggles to meet its water needs. In a country that sees half its annual rainfall in just 15 days, during the seasonal monsoon, storage and distribution is a perennial problem. About a tenth of the rural population has no access to safe drinking water, which is an issue even in some urban, middle-class areas.[3] By 2025, is has been estimated that the demand for water will have reached 1,050 cubic kilometres a year, but supply will only be 700 cubic kilometres. Other reports estimate that with no intervention, the water supply will be depleted in about five decades.[4]

"This looming water crisis presents both a challenge and an opportunity for water companies," said Singapore International Water Week's Mr Toh. "We hope the annual Indian Business Forum can play a part in the search for sustainable water solutions for the country."

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.

[1] <#_ftnref1> Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry; Everything About Water
[2] <#_ftnref2> State of the World Report 2006, The Worldwatch Institute
[3] <#_ftnref3> The Times (London), 6 Oct, 2007, India's 'water of the gods' flows West
[4] <#_ftnref4> Purio Environmental Water Source


Also see:
-- "IDA co-sponsors Water Leaders Summit during Singapore International Water Week"
-- "Australians to speak at inaugural Singapore International Water Week"
-- "Singapore International Water Week opens gateway to China market"
-- "Middle East officials head to Singapore for Singapore International Water Week"
-- "Young people suggest solutions to world's water woes"

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