A Salty Business for Youths

1 Jul 2010                    

The first ever International Desalination Association (IDA) Young Leaders Programme educational tour was held in Singapore on July 1st 2010, during the Singapore International Water Week.

Ms Lisa Henthorne lectures as participants listen eagerly

Ms Lisa Henthorne lectures as participants listen eagerly

IDA is a non-governmental organization of the United Nations which is dedicated to the promotion and development of and promotion of the appropriate use of desalination and desalination technology.

Their Young Leaders Program (YLP) was established in 2009 and is open to all IDA members 35 years of age or younger.  The main focus of the YLP is to create opportunities for emerging leaders in desalination to network, thus advancing their careers and promoting interest in desalination around the world.

The educational tour that was held at Nanyang Technical University, featured talks by Ms Lisa Henthorne, Chief Technology Advisor, Water Standard and by  Prof. Anthony Fane, Director of Singapore Membrane Technology Centre.

The talks were on two very distinct topics, with Ms Henthorne speaking on the the current market trends and opportunities in the desalination industry, while Prof. Fane’s lectured specifically on the subject of membrane technology and it’s use in water and waste water treatment.

While the educational tour was mainly targeted at undergraduates or as Mr Victor Verbeek, IDA YLP Co-chairman, put it, “Our main targeted audience are people who are on the very cusp of making a career decision.”

But that does not mean that the IDA discounts the younger youths who are in secondary schools and polytechnics. He added, “Whether the issue be brine discharge, the taste of desalinated or even if NEWater is safe to drink, if people are educated at a young age, the message will be ingrained and they will have the right concept of technology at a very young age and then public perception and opinion of advanced water treatment would be moving in the right decision.”

To conclude, he added, “That is definitely something IDA hopes to do, but right now as we are still a rather small community we are hoping to recruit more so that they can then go on to spread the message.”

By Naveen K

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