Young people suggest solutions to world's water woes

Singapore will host a number of youth- and student-focused events on the sidelines of Singapore International Water Week, the global event for water solutions which will take place from 23-27 June at Suntec Singapore. As high-level figures from government, NGOs, business and academia discuss solutions to the world water crisis during various Water Week events, young people will be putting forward their own ideas...

SINGAPORE, June 10, 2008) -- Singapore will host a number of youth- and student-focused events on the sidelines of Singapore International Water Week, the global event for water solutions which will take place from 23-27 June at Suntec Singapore.

As high-level figures from government, NGOs, business and academia discuss solutions to the world water crisis during various Water Week events, young people will be putting forward their own ideas.

Close to 100 young budding water scientists and engineers from Singapore, China, India, Germany and ASEAN countries will be participating in the Symposium for Young Water Talents on 23 June 2008, while students from Singapore will be presenting new water solutions at the Singapore International Water Week on 25 June 2008. About 150 youth leaders from Singapore and other countries will also gather at the Water Week to exchange ideas on sustainable water solutions.

"As water issues surround us this month with the Singapore International Water Week, we want to get more young people thinking about the lack of drinking water and basic sanitation in many parts of the world. Hopefully this will inspire them to become the next bright scientist and come up with sustainable water solutions for the world," said Mr Michael Toh, General Manager of Singapore International Water Week 2008. The theme of the Water Week is Sustainable Water Solutions for Cities.

Three inauguralSingapore Junior WaterPrize finalists present innovative solutions at Water Week
To encourage the young to take an interest in water R&D, Singapore has set up its very own water prize for students aged 15 to 20. The first Singapore Junior Water Prize competition is jointly organised by Ngee Ann Polytechnic and Lien Foundation and supported by PUB, Singapore 's national water agency.

The top three finalists of the inaugural Singapore Junior Water Prize will have the opportunity to present their solutions to policymakers, industry leaders, experts and practitioners during the Singapore International Water Week on 25 June 2008. The Singapore Junior Water Prize winner, National University of Singapore (NUS) High School of Mathematics and Science will also represent Singapore at the Stockholm Junior Water Prize to be held in Stockholm from 17 to 23 August 2008.

The competition focuses on practical projects in the field of technology and science, and the use of innovative approaches to water problems. Students are expected to use a research-oriented approach with scientifically-accepted methodologies and statistical analysis for investigation, experimentation, monitoring and the reporting of results.

"We are impressed by the quality of the projects for the Singapore Junior Water Prize competition, and this bides well for the local water industry. As Singapore develops as a global hydrohub, we will need more young talents to join the vibrant water industry," said Mr Harry Seah, PUB's director for technology and water quality. Mr Seah is one of the judges for the competition.

"Twenty years down the road, who knows, our Singapore Junior Water Prize winners might be in the running for the next Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize Winner," added Mr Seah. The inaugural Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize winner 2008 is Dr Andrew Benedek, who is recognised for his outstanding contribution in solving global water issues. A researcher-turned-technopreneur, Dr Benedek pioneered the development of low-pressure membranes.

Young water talents and leaders gather at the Water Week
The Symposium for Young Water Talents is targeted at graduate students doing water-related research in science and technology. Organised by the Nanyang Technological University in conjunction with the Singapore International Water Week, the one-day symposium on 23 June 2008 offers graduates an opportunity to learn from renowned international researchers and key industry players while allowing industry players to identify and recruit talents at the same time. It will focus on areas such as membrane technology, biotechnology, advanced water treatment, water quality analytics, water resource management and aquatic sciences.

"In a day, about 100 like-minded young scientists and engineers will get to hear from experienced water researchers and industry players, and even get to question them. Encouraging scientific enquiry and interaction is a good way for water researchers to broaden their perspectives and explore new ideas," said Mr Seah.

About 150 youth leaders from Singapore and 30 from the region have been invited to attend the National Youth Achievement Awards / Gold Award Holders Alumni Regional Forum from 24 to 26 June 2008. This forum is designed to engage Asia's future leaders in thinking about sustainable water resource management and Singapore's experiences in this regard, and inspire them to come up with solutions.

For the full list of co-located events, log onto http://www.siww.com.sg/aboutevent/colocatingevents.php

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.

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