Singapore, India water agencies sign 'green' water management pact

Singapore's national water agency, PUB, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Maharashtra Jeevan Pradhikaran (the Maharashtra Water Supply and Sanitation Board) to collaborate on projects that minimise water wastage and improve infrastructure in Indian cities and towns. The MOU was inked today at the Singapore International Water Week, a global gathering for the water industry, during a forum designed to promote business opportunities in India's fast-growing water market...

• Singapore's water agency PUB will share expertise with Maharashtra's water board in projects to reduce wastage and improve water infrastructure in the state

SINGAPORE, 26 June 2008 -- Singapore's national water agency, PUB, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Maharashtra Jeevan Pradhikaran (the Maharashtra Water Supply and Sanitation Board) to collaborate on projects that minimise water wastage and improve infrastructure in Indian cities and towns.

The MOU was inked today at the Singapore International Water Week, a global gathering for the water industry, during a forum designed to promote business opportunities in India's fast-growing water market.

The MOU will facilitate collaboration between PUB and Maharashtra Jeevan Pradhikaran (MJP), as well as promote participation by Singapore-based companies in urban water management in Maharashtra, the second most populous state in India, with major cities such as Mumbai and Pune.
Areas of cooperation will include leak detection and reduction in unaccounted-for water; water and wastewater treatment and recycling; emerging technologies and best practices in water reuse; the management of urban runoff; management of water supply and demand; and institutional capacity building.

One of the first projects identified under the MOU will transform the intermittent water supply in the town of Ambernath, near Mumbai. Ambernath's population of 270,000 has water for only three to four hours a day, and there is a high level (21 per cent) of unaccounted-for water (UFW). The plan is to introduce a round-the-clock water supply and reduce UFW, with the PUB sharing its capabilities in integrated water resource and demand management, and the secrets to Singapore's 5 per cent UFW rate, which is one of the world's lowest.

Singapore-based companies such as pipeline rehabilitation specialists Teacly (S) Pte Ltd will work with MJP and Indian partner companies on MOU projects. PUB's wholly-owned subsidiary, PUB Consultants Pte Ltd, will act as technical consultants.

The MOU signatories were Dr Sanjay Dahasahasra, Member Secretary, MJP, and Mr Khoo Teng Chye, Chief Executive, PUB. On hand to witness the signing were H.E. Shri Ranjit Kamble, the Government of Maharashtra's Minister of State for Water Supply & Sanitation and Vice-Chairman of MJP, Mr Ajit Kumar Jain, Principal Secretary of Maharashtra's Water Supply and Sanitation Department, and Dr Amy Khor, Senior Parliamentary Secretary at Singapore's Ministry of the Environment & Water Resources.

Khoo Teng Chye, Chief Executive, PUB said: "This MOU will strengthen PUB's ties with India's water sector, the recent transformation of which we have been keenly watching. PUB enjoys a strong relationship with the Indian water industry and has been offering capacity-building training for India's water utility operators and other decision makers. I am confident Ambernath will be the 'beachhead' project that will pave for the way for similar collaborations between Singaporean companies and the various Indian states. It will both showcase and enhance the capabilities of Singapore's water industry."

Mr Ranjit Kamble said: "Water is a crucial element for the survival of mankind, so the Government of Maharashtra has given its state water policy top priority. The cooperation between PUB and MJP will enable MJP to leverage on PUB's expertise to achieve the goals of the state's water policy."

Mr Ajit Kumar Jain said: "This MOU concretises the ties between MJP and PUB. The state Government of Maharashtra has always been at the forefront of sectoral reforms, and the urban water management expertise of PUB will now be supporting these reforms. Maharashtra is most urbanised state in India and substantially contributes to the economy of the country, with a view to making our cities more liveable and more competitive. The Government of Maharashtra is focusing on improving urban infrastructure in the state by providing quality drinking water not only to residential areas but for commercial and industrial uses as well."

India was the focus of one of seven regional business forums held on 25 and 26 June -- exclusive networking sessions that will introduce Water Week 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 just some of the high-level exchanges and business deals that have taken place during Singapore International Water Week (23 to 27 June 2008), an annual summit, conference and trade show attended by some 5,000 representatives from governments, utilities providers, businesses and academia.

The Indian Business Forum was itself a joint Singapore-India effort: it was organised by PUB and the Confederation of Indian Industry, with support from the Indian Water Works Association.

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Also see:
-- "Teijin to partner PUB Singapore to further develop technology for used water treatment"
-- "PUB Singapore and Bahrain to collaborate on water management"
-- "International Desalination Association Confers Inaugural Fellowship Awards during Singapore International Water Week"

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