Singapore celebrates global water achievements, opportunities amidst credit crunch

Nov. 7, 2009
SINGAPORE, Nov. 7, 2009 -- The Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) today announced a record number of 50 nominations received from more than 20 countries for the prestigious Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize 2010...

• Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize 2010 receives 25% more nominations; New publication by Singapore International Water Week offers solutions to industry challenges

SINGAPORE, Nov. 7, 2009 -- The Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) today announced a record number of 50 nominations received from more than 20 countries for the prestigious Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize 2010. As further testament to its stature as a key global water solutions platform, SIWW also launched Blue Paper and Solutions -- a publication that captures the strategic dialogue and industry imperatives arising from the successful convergence of water solutions, policies, leadership and infrastructure during Singapore International Water Week 2009.

The announcements were made at the ongoing International Desalination Association (IDA) World Congress on Desalination and Water Reuse in Dubai where national water agency PUB and Singapore's water companies are showcasing leading water technologies as part of the Singapore Pavilion.

Commemorating World-Class Water Achievements
Launched in 2008 to recognise revolutionary water innovations and policies, the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize has grown significantly, and attracted a 25 per cent increase in the number of nominations, including first-time submissions from Brazil, Italy, Kuwait and Norway.

In line with SIWW 2010's theme of Sustainable Cities -- Clean and Affordable Water, the coveted Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize encourages practitioners, academics and policy makers to nominate individuals or organizations who have delivered compelling and practical water solutions across a wider spectrum of the water industry.

"We are seeing a good spread of applicants across more diverse areas such as management of agriculture waters as well as the protection of coastal zone and marine life, which are for the first time, part of the 50 accepted nominations to be reviewed. This augurs well for the Water Prize, which will be going into its third year. We hope this will spur more quality nominations for the coming years," said Singapore International Water Week Managing Director Michael Toh.

The other 2010 nominations cover areas such as:

• Application of innovative technologies for water and used water collection and treatment, as well as water recycling
• Implementation of revolutionary water policies and programs for purposes like potable water supply, sanitation, water conservation, water reuse and river basin management
• Water research in the fields of limnology, microbial pathogens, novel desalination and membrane processes
• Administration of humanitarian aid The Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize 2010 will be presented at SIWW next year, with the recipient joining international water pioneers such as Professor Gatze Lettinga, whose work in the development of anaerobic technology in used water treatment outshone 38 other nominations to receive the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize in 2009. The recipient will receive S$300,000, an award certificate and a gold medallion in recognition of his contributions.

Discovering International Water Opportunities
The Blue Paper documents key discussions among world leaders on how acute economic pressure to reduce costs on a global level has made it more critical to increase water efficiencies.

Speakers at SIWW also encouraged countries to take advantage of the economic slowdown to expedite the move towards attaining water sustainability. Highlights from the dialogue generated at the event, and captured in the Blue Paper, include:

• Adopt systems approach towards efficiency and sustainability: In the global pursuit for clean energy, water reuse can no longer stand alone. The interlinked processes of energy production and waste management require a systems approach. Countries need to focus on improving their infrastructure to integrate systems for water, food, energy and waste treatment to not only achieve greater economies of scale but also contribute to conservation efforts.
• Tap tremendous potential in water reuse: Only five per cent of the world's used water is currently being recycled. As such, the prospects of reducing pollution and simultaneously reclaiming water are multi-fold when more policy-makers realise that the business of water recycling is feasible and cost-efficient in the long run.
• Active government involvement: Playing the role of an enabler, governments are especially crucial in providing the regulatory framework for private stakeholders to create breakthroughs in water innovations. A well-designed and transparent system can achieve public policy goals, while balancing the needs of commercial players. This open system also allows citizens to better appreciate the government's costmaking decisions related to clean water supplies.

As the industry continues to ride through the recession, more water experts, including political leaders and solutions providers, place greater value in global industry platforms such as the SIWW. Solutions captures the results of a strong endorsement of the Week, highlighting new products and innovations and successful networking opportunities at events such as the Water Expo and Business Forums.

Building on the momentum of SIWW's success this year, Singapore will hold the next SIWW, themed Sustainable Cities -- Clean and Affordable Water, from 28 June to 2 July 2010. SIWW 2010 will address water problems in an increasingly urbanised environment at key flagship programmes such as the Water Leaders Summit, Water Convention, Water Expo and Business Forums.

IDA World Congress delegates who are keen to find out more about SIWW are invited to attend the SIWW reception at the Singapore Pavilion on 8 November 2009, from 9.30am to 11.00am. Blue Paper and Solutions will also be distributed.

About Singapore International Water Week 2010
The Singapore International Water Week is the global platform for water solutions. It brings 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, Water Expo and Business Forums, it culminates in the presentation of the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize, a prestigious international award to recognize outstanding contributions in solving global water issues.

The third Singapore International Water Week will be held from 28 June 28 to 2 July 2010. The theme is Sustainable Cities -- Clean and Affordable Water.