Singapore International Water Week 2009 set to make splash despite economic downturn

Come June this year, the global movers and shakers of the water industry will gather in Singapore for the second Singapore International Water Week...

SINGAPORE, Apr. 16, 2009 -- Come June this year, the global movers and shakers of the water industry will gather in Singapore for the second Singapore International Water Week. Close to 10,000 delegates and trade visitors are expected at the event to be held at Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre from 22 to 26 June. Of these, 70% are expected to be overseas attendees.

This year's theme has been expanded with a key focus on infrastructure and technologies across its flagship programs of the Water Leaders Summit, Water Convention, Water Expo and Business Forums. In line with the theme, the 7th Ministers' Forum on Infrastructure Development in the Asia Pacific Region, the International Water Association's 6th Leading-Edge Technology (LET) Conference and the official opening of the Changi Water Reclamation Plant will be held alongside the Water Week.

Mr Khoo Teng Chye, Chief Executive of PUB, Singapore's national water agency, and Executive Director of Environment and Water Industry Development Council, said: "With the current challenging economic times, the search for sustainable and cost-effective water management solutions becomes even more urgent. Infrastructure and technology development will be vital, not only to maximize engineering efficiency and investment returns, but to also create jobs. Themed "Sustainable Cities Infrastructure and Technologies For Water," Singapore International Water Week 2009 will enable policy makers, industry players, experts and practitioners to tap on a global reservoir of refreshing perspectives and economically-viable solutions."

Water Expo showcase for the latest water innovations and solutions The Water Expo will feature an exciting plethora of water innovations and solutions from all over the world. To date, close to 90 per cent of the 12,000 sq m of gross exhibition space of the Water Expo has been sold. This space is being taken up by more than 140 direct exhibiting companies from about 20 countries including Australia, Abu Dhabi, China, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Japan, Korea, Italy, Israel, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Philippines, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the United States of America. There will be country pavilions for Australia, China, Europe, Japan, and Singapore.

The Singapore Pavilion, showcasing the capabilities of over 50 local and Singapore-based water companies, has been expanded four-fold from 200 sq m in 2008 to 800 sq m this year. About half of the companies within the Singapore Pavilion are first-time participants. "Bucking the trend against the backdrop of an unprecedented downturn in world economy and tough market conditions, Singapore companies are moving aggressively into other water markets and showcasing their expertise and products at the Singapore Pavilion. This is a strong testimony of the endorsement and confidence exhibitors have in SIWW as they see it as a must-attend event," said Mr Khoo.

Two new attractions for the Water Expo include the Buyers' Pavilion and Industry-to-Industry Interactions. A first in global water events, the Buyers' Pavilion will serve as a valuable platform for buyers of water technologies or infrastructure to share their needs with the exhibitors, discuss business opportunities and forge partnerships. Water and water-related trade associations can take part in cross-industry networking platforms, called the Industry-to-Industry Afternoon Tea, strategically designed facilitate interactions between trade associations and exhibitors.

In addition, participants can look forward to the Innovation Corner at the Water Expo which will see the launch of more than 10 new products and technologies this year. "Although this is only the second staging of the Water Week, to stay ahead, we are constantly improving our programs and offering new value-added features such as the Buyers Pavilion and the Industry-to-Industry Interactions to cater to the evolving needs of the water industry. Judging from the response so far, the Water Week is becoming a must-attend strategic platform for leading local and international players. We expect this year's economic spin-off to top the S$35 million generated from last year's event," added Mr Jimmy Lau, Managing Director, Singapore Airshow and Events Pte Ltd who is the co-organizer of the Singapore International Water Week.

Opening of the Changi Water Reclamation Plant
A key highlight of the Water Week is the opening of Singapore's largest and most advanced water reclamation plant, the Changi Water Reclamation Plant (CWRP), on 23 June 2009 by Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

The heart of the Deep Tunnel Sewerage System, Singapore's used water superhighway, the CWRP ensures the sustainability of NEWater, Singapore's own brand of high-grade reclaimed water. Sited on 32 hectares of reclaimed land, the plant features a state-of-the-art, compact and covered used water treatment facility designed to treat 800,000 cubic meters of used water per day.

The CWRP along with the Marina Barrage showcase effective urban solutions which can be adopted by cities facing challenging water supply situations like Singapore. 7th Ministers' Forum on Infrastructure Development in the Asia Pacific Region This high-level forum will carry a water-centric theme "Integrating Water Infrastructure Planning with Sustainable Urban Development" this year.

Infrastructure and Water Ministers from 19 member countries have been invited. They include Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Singapore, United States of America, Thailand and Vietnam.

International Water Association's 6th Leading-Edge Technology (LET) Conference Bringing together 300 water experts, the LET conference will feature novel and emerging used water technologies such as nutrient recovery and advancements in nanotechnology. It is designed to complement this year's Water Convention which showcases practical solutions for today's applications. Apart from technology, the Water Convention also focuses on planning and management of infrastructure, as well as linkages between water and health-related issues to attract a wide audience ranging from operators, managers, regulators, government agencies, technology providers and academics.

Business Forums Expanded
Two new regions, North America and North Africa, will be added to the business forums. Eminent speakers representing government, trade and research organizations, key technology providers, financial institutions and water authorities will share a myriad of water resources management, development projects and opportunities in nine key water markets at these forums. The eight business forums cover Australia, China, Europe, India, Japan, Middle East and North Africa, North America and Southeast Asia.

Mr Khoo added, "The Business Forums last year attracted over 1,000 delegates. This year's Business Forums featuring emerging markets like North America and North Africa will present immense business opportunities for the water industry."

Water Activities for the Public

To celebrate the Water Week, a series of water sports competitions and fringe events will be held for the public from 20 to 27 June at Marina and MacRitchie reservoirs, and Singapore River.

Registration for the Water Week is now open.

>> More information on Singapore International Water Week

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