The water sector is facing a pivotal moment. The recent World Economic Forum Global Risks Report highlighted water crises as one of the critical risks we face over a ten-year horizon. Add to this risks associated with the failure of climate-change mitigation and adaptation, the growing threat from extreme weather events and natural disasters, and water is a risk of high likelihood and high impact almost everywhere in the world.
As a sector, we face a major challenge in terms of allocating water to several, ever-increasing demands: from cities, industries, power suppliers, farmers, nature, transport, and environment. At the same time, an increasing number of areas around the world experience either extreme water shortages or devastating flood events that affect energy production, agriculture, regional stability and economic performance.
The Singapore International Water Week is a well-established meeting point for all those who are contributing to solving these growing water problems, and to meet the ambitious UN Sustainable Development Goals. The Singapore Water Convention is where recent scientific research results and technological developments combine with a full-scale experience of up-to-date urban water quality and quantity solutions.
The International Water Week embodies many of the qualities of Singapore itself. It is a showcase for innovations in science, technology and full-scale solutions. This is the place to look for solutions to the complex urban water management problems we face, and is reflected in the 4 priority topics of the Water Convention, proposed by experts from PUB Singapore, together with the International Water Association: Delivering Water from Source to Tap; Effective and Efficient Wastewater Value Management; Water for Liveability and Resilience; Water Quality and Health.
In 2018, the long and successful co-operation between the International Water Association and Singapore International Water Week will mark its tenth year. It has been a decade of progress, and ours has been a partnership that has helped raise the profile of water issues on the international agenda. I look forward to meeting you all at this year’s event, where ideas will be discussed, knowledge shared and solutions created to address the water challenges of the future.