A City of Gardens and Water

30 Jun 2010                    

In the never-ending quest to ensure Singapore’s water sustainability and supply, it is inevitable that policy makers get youths involved in issues concerning the water industry.

In this spirit, the Asian Water Symposium that kicked off today at Dunman High School saw secondary school students eagerly taking down notes during the various presentations and engaging keenly in a forum with the industry people present. Gracing the event as Guest-of-Honour was Dr Amy Khor, Mayor of the South West District and Senior Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources.

Dr Amy Khor addressing the young crowd

Dr Amy Khor addressing the young crowd

In her welcome address, Dr Khor emphasised the need to get everyone involved in the greater water picture.

“Achieving an adequate and affordable water supply is only half the story,” she said, “Equally important is the need for all water stakeholders to help manage water demand and ensure our water resources are managed in a sustainable way.”

Associate Professor Ng How Yong of the Centre for Water Research Division of Environmental Science and Engineering, NUS, who started by identifying himself as an alumnus of Dunman High School, then talked about the technologies available to solve water scarcity and quality issues, and highlighted a potential danger – that climate change, which hasn’t yet been factored into most water research, could change water scarcity and quality projections in negative ways.

Associate Professor Ng offered various technological solutions for water problems

Associate Professor Ng offered various technological solutions for water problems

The Singapore “model” of water management was another topic discussed at the symposium, with Ms Leong Ching, PhD candidate from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, talking about how fortunate Singaporeans are that we don’t even have to think about the availability of clean water.

It is indeed fortunate that Singaporeans will probably never have to worry that our water isn’t clean or that there isn’t enough of it at all. Hopefully, symposiums like these allow youths to better understand that ensuring a sustainable supply of clean water for Singapore doesn’t come easy and should not be taken for granted. Everyone has a part to play to protect our precious water resources.
Ms Leong encouraged the audience to consume more water straight from the tap rather than buying bottled water

Ms Leong encouraged the audience to consume more water straight from the tap rather than buying bottled water

By Joshua Tan

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