GOH Expo Tour & Tuas Nexus Time Capsule Ceremony
The opening day saw Ms Fu touring the Water Expo at SIWW2022, where best-in-class products, technologies, and services from some 250 exhibitors, including 12 pavilions spanning 21 product categories were on display. In particular, she officiated the launch of RSK Centre for Sustainability Excellence, and made stops to understand the innovations and technologies behind Nanostone Water, Sembcorp Industries, Jacobs, Memstar, DuPont, Suez, NEOM, Keppel, Toray, PWNT, Ramboll, amongst others.
A Tuas Nexus Time Capsule ceremony was also held in conjunction with both events to commemorate the construction of the Tuas Nexus – the world’s first integrated waste and water treatment facility planned from the ground-up. The time capsule will be opened in 2032 after the Nexus, which consists of the National Environment Agency’s (NEA) Integrated Waste Management Facility and PUB’s Tuas Water Reclamation Plant, becomes fully operational.
Water Convention Opening Plenary
Climate change and extreme events are increasingly impacting nature and people’s lives everywhere as evident in the recent findings of the Sixth IPCC Assessment Report published in late February 2022. From disrupted water networks, contaminated water supplies to its resulting impact on agriculture and human health, these are just a few examples of its far-reaching effects on the global water scene and its communities.
Yesterday’s Water Convention Opening Plenary brought global water leaders together to discuss and address these pertinent issues. Noteworthy speakers who gave keynote presentations include Patrick Moriarty, CEO, IRCWASH, Dr Debra Roberts, Co-Chair, Working Group II (Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability), IPCC, Jennifer Sara, Global Director, Water Global Practice, The World Bank and Oyun Sanjaasuren, Director of External Affairs, Green Climate Fund. Collectively, they touched on areas such as approaches to SDG6 targets, the impact of climate change on water systems, financing climate change mitigation initiatives in water and adjacent sectors, as well as present and future water challenges.
Environment & Water Leaders Forum
The Environment and Water Leaders Forum (EWLF) is a dedicated platform for world leaders to share insights on cross-disciplinary environmental and water policies, governance issues, emerging challenges, and re-examine the respective roles of key stakeholders in creating liveable and sustainable cities of the future.
This year’s theme of “Towards a Climate-Resilient Future - Transforming Challenges into Opportunities”, speaks of the existential crisis of climate change and how more than ever it commands our collective and immediate action. Burgeoning populations, coupled with the rise of urbanisation, result in increased pressure placed on our finite resources and need for clean water, sanitation, and hygiene. This poses challenges to cities, governments, and businesses.
Speakers who shared views on how to ride the wave of global changes, capitalise on sustainability challenges, and transform them into opportunities, include Michèle Blom, Vice Minister for Water Management, Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, Netherlands, Patrick Blethon, CEO, Saur Group, Andrew Benedek, Chairman and CEO, Anaergia Inc, Dr Axel Schweitzer, CEO, ALBA Group plc & Co. KG and Dechen Tsering, Regional Director, UNEP (Asia and the Pacific).
The session was well-attended by over 400 participants, comprising of high level representatives from government, industry, international organisations, as well as water and environment leaders and professionals.
MOU and Contract Signings
Solidifying its stature as the business platform where partnerships are formed, SIWW2022 witnessed several MOU and contract signings yesterday. These include:
- MOU signing between Singapore Water Association (SWA) and British Water, to develop collaboration, technical, economic, and business exchanges for mutual benefit, such as utilising the cross-collaboration between complementary and different businesses, and encouraging cooperation sharing of experience which contribute to the development of water industry ecosystems in the UK and Singapore
- MOU signing between Singapore Water Association (SWA) and International Water Association (IWA), to define the relationship between IWA and SWA by establishing a joint IWA-SWA YWP Chapter in Singapore (known as IWA-SWA Singapore YWP Chapter) with a committee consisting of balanced representation from both Associations
- MOU Signing between Singapore Water Association (SWA) and International Water Hub (IWH), to support the commercialisation of water and wastewater management technologies, as well as promote the exchange of industry best practices and technical knowledge between Singapore and China water industry players
Young Water Leaders Programme Fireside Chat
A room filled with healthy debates, cross sharing of perspectives, and a lot of purposeful chatter. Yesterday’s session was led by Minister of State, Desmond Tan, who brought the young water leaders – who hailed from 5 countries – on a journey of Singapore’s development of the four water taps, and how a small nation like ours had transformed vulnerability into strength. He also spoke about Singapore’s continued strive to be a global hydrohub offering opportunities for global young talents.
Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize Lecture
Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize Award Ceremony & Banquet
The Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize 2020 Laureate, Professor Kazuo Yamamoto delivered a keynote lecture earlier yesterday. He spoke about his pioneering invention of the world’s first operational submerged membrane bioreactor (MBR). In the same evening, he received the Prize Medallion and Certificate from Madam Halimah Yacob, President of the Republic of Singapore at the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize Award Ceremony and Banquet.
Highlights of Thematic & Business Forums
At yesterday’s Thematic and Business Forums, the topic of innovation formed the core of discussions.
Some key takeaways:
In this session organised by the World Bank, Jennifer Sara, Global Director, Water Global Practice opened the session with an outlook of the global water situation. As Jennifer puts it, “economic growth is a very thirsty business”, and smart investments in water sanitation is essential. New ways and innovations are required to remain water resilient.
A lively showcase of Imagine H2O Asia start-ups, this two-hour session featured lightning pitches, new product showcases, a market insights panel, and networking opportunities. Featured start-ups were diverse and deployment-ready, each challenging the water management status quo in the region.
Co-organised by the International Desalination Association (IDA), this forum focused on discussion points on what is fast becoming a ‘Golden Age of Desalination’ with massive capacity increases planned across the world. Dr Pang Chee Meng, Chief Engineering & Technology Officer, PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency gave insights on ‘Singapore’s Desalination Reuse Journey’ and the importance for collaboration and innovation.