Singapore International Water Week

Singapore will play host to more than 20 international high-level meetings, forums, award ceremonies and workshops on the sidelines of Singapore International Water Week, the global event on water solutions which will be held here from 23 to 27 June 2008. For the first time in Singapore, the World Health Organisation (WHO) will be holding an international meeting on the fourth edition of the WHO guidelines on drinking-water quality from 19-23 June 2008. More than 20 WHO water quality experts will be in Singapore to review the work for the 4th edition of the WHO guidelines on drinking water quality which will be used by both developing and developed countries worldwide as the basis for regulation and standard setting to ensure the safety of drinking-water.

In its capacity as the WHO Collaborating Centre for Health Promotion & Disease Prevention, the Singapore Health Promotion Board is also organising a sharing session (23 June 2008) on "Healthy Cities for a Sustainable Future", to highlight the role governments and NGOs can play in building healthy communities.

"The Singapore International Water Week is attracting many top figures from governments, international organisations, NGOs, business and academia to our shores, so it presents the perfect opportunity for us to organise concurrent meetings for various international and regional leaders in the water industry. This is very much in line with our vision to make Singapore a Global Hydrohub and for Singapore International Water Week to be the global platform for water solutions, " said Mr Michael Toh, General Manager of Singapore International Water Week 2008.

Also held for the first time in Singapore is the workshop on new concepts in integrated management of the urban water cycle jointly organised by UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, Asian Development Bank and PUB, Singapore's national water agency. The workshop on 22 June 2008 will see participants from Asia-Pacific countries such as China, India, Philippines, Vietnam and Indonesia. They will be introduced to state-of-the-art concepts in urban water management and the adaptation and transfer of technology and knowledge to regional mega-cities.

For the first time in Asia, the Global Water Research Coalition (GWRC) will be holding their twice-yearly Board of Directors Meeting in Singapore from 22 to 23 June 2008. 15 leading water research organisations in the world will meet to update on projects in progress and to discuss on new research ideas.

The International Water Association (IWA) Project Innovation Awards ceremony which celebrates excellence and innovation in water engineering projects worldwide will be held in Singapore on 26 June 2008. The programme runs on a two-year cycle with the regional projects awarded at three regional forums (North America, Europe and East Asia and Pacific) and the global projects awarded at the biennial IWA Congress (which will be held in Vienna in September 2008). The ceremony in Singapore will present innovation awards for the East Asia & Pacific region.

The inaugural International Desalination Association (IDA) Fellowship award ceremony is the second award ceremony to be held in Singapore. The IDA Fellowship Scheme which was established last year, aims to promote knowledge sharing and information exchange through attachments of professionals to major water companies. The value of the IDA Fellowship Award is US$10,000 and IDA had chosen PUB to be the first hosting agency for the inaugural IDA Fellowship Award where the IDA Fellow will be attached to spearhead a project about desalination or water reuse. The selection committee has selected two IDA Fellows this year. They are Mr Salah I. Al Khamis from Saline Water Conversion Corp, Saudi Arabia and Mr Jorge Arroyo from Texas Water Development Board.

There are also three youth-focused events that will be held concurrently during the week. They are the inaugural Singapore Junior Water Prize (9 June 2008), a contest for students aged 15 to 20, the winners of which will be sent to an international event in Stockholm; the Symposium for Young Water Talents (23 June 2008), for graduate students doing water-related research; and the National Youth Achievement Awards / Gold Award Holders Alumni's 2nd Asia Pacific Youth Water Forum (24-26 June 2008), where 150 youth leaders from Singapore and 30 from the region will discuss sustainable water management and solutions.

Other international co-located events during Singapore International Water Week include South-east Asian Water Utilities Network (SEAWUN) Board of Directors Meeting which is non-governmental organisation with 56 members that include water utilities, water associations and consulting companies from across Southeast Asia. SEAWUN aims to strengthen regional ties and improve performance in the water and sanitation sector.

The Asia-Pacific Water Forum Governing Council (APWF) chaired by Professor Tommy Koh, Ambassador-at-large, will be holding its 3rd meeting in Singapore. The APWF's goal is to contribute to sustainable water management in order to achieve the targets at the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Asia and the Pacific region.

During the Singapore International Water Week from 23 to 27 June 2008, over 200 top policy makers, ministers, mayors, academics and decision-makers in the water industry and international organisations such as the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank will be in Singapore for the Water Leaders Summit, one of the key components of the Water Week. Some 600 delegates will also attend the Water Convention, a scientific conference on technology and practical solutions in the water industry. In addition, more than 5,000 trade visitors are expected at the Water Expo, another Water Week event for buyers and sellers of water technologies and solutions.

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