2 Jul 2012
“Are you here to save face, or are you here to save us?”
– 17-year-old Brittany Trilford in a speech to world leaders at the Rio+20 Earth Summit
Call it a cliché. Call it propaganda. But to me Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) represents hope. Hope for a better future for myself, my children and hopefully my children’s children.
SIWW provides a platform for world leaders and industry professionals to share and discuss solutions. Solutions to ensure water sustainability, efficient water management practices as well as to showcase technologies that dare I say would allow us to use more (water) with less.
A Roadmap to Sustainability
With Asia’s population set to rise 15% by 2020 (ADB), careful and meticulous planning is required to ensure that we have a sustainable supply of water. Spearheading such efforts at SIWW are events such as the Water Leaders Summit which gathers the world’s top water leaders from governments, water industries and international organisations in one place.
And their goal?
To discuss, share knowledge and shape thought leadership on finding and developing sustainable water solutions in the hope of building a better tomorrow for future generations.
What is unique about SIWW is that while world leaders and industry professionals are coming up with ideas and solutions for better water management, the public can play an active role as well.
For instance, Water Showcases are events and activities organised by the community for the community to showcase best practices and contribution towards greater water stewardship. I was once told by my university professor that to find solutions to problems, one must be as educated as can be on a particular subject. And that is what is wonderful about the water showcases. It encourages the public to educate themselves on ways to better manage their water usage and share this knowledge with others.
Youths also have an opportunity to participate as well. With events such as the Young Water Talent Symposium and the Young Water Professionals Networking Session, SIWW provides youths with an opportunity to mingle with industry professionals, find out about possible career opportunities and more importantly, to be part of the water solution.
So why does SIWW represent hope?
Because it brings the attention of the whole world to an issue we need to be aware of and encourages us to work together so that we as global citizens can ensure that the one thing we can’t live without will always be around.
Earth may seem like a planet with a seemingly unlimited volume of water. But how we utilise it, will speak volumes about us.
By Nicholas Patrick