SIWW 2014 – Water Convention – Wen Hui

6 June 2014

On Tuesday, I was invited by Nuffnang to the Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) 2014 held at Marina Bay Sands to blog about the Water Convention. It was my 1st time at such a convention and it was truly an eye-opener for me. I am nowhere an expert on this topic (what with all the chemical terms and equations as well), so I must admit I was slightly taken aback by the amount and complexity of information presented to me. Nevertheless, I learnt quite a few things through reading the posters and speaking with the presenters!

The Water Convention is a platform for industry experts, regulators and academics to interact and share ideas on a wide range of water challenges. In 2014, the Water Convention continues its focus on case studies, presentations, and practical applications along the 5 main themes:

1. Delivering Water from Source to Tap
2. Effective and Efficient Wastewater Management
3. Water for Liveability and Resilience
4. Water Quality & Health
5. Water for Industries





1. Delivering Water from Source to Tap
The world is facing rapid urbanisation, climate change and an increasing population. There is a need to seek technologies that are able to optimise energy usage or utilise energy from non-conventional sources.


Joemar Emboltorio tells of how in Manila, certain areas are under-utilising their water while some areas like Taguig are over-utilising their water supply. This situation is further aggravated by natural disasters that render such a delivery system inefficient and unreliable. Via the Systems Load Balancing Program, it balances this vast difference in water usage by building more Water Supply & Pumping Systems to the necessary areas and this also allows for further expansion of water supply eastward to new consumers.

Ong Keng Ann explained that NEWater is treated using carbon dioxide (CO2) and lime in order to reduce its acidity as well as its corrosiveness and aggressiveness. However, this causes lime build-up inside cement pipes running from the East to West of Singapore, reducing its diameter drastically. Therefore to counter this problem, 2 separate dosing pipes are used instead, with CO2 running into one – which dissolves any lime deposit in the pipe – and lime solution into another. This process is alternated at a regular interval to prevent lime deposit from building up in any of the pipes.

2. Effective and Efficient Wastewater Management
There has been an alarming rate of natural resource depletion as well as the generation of waste due to a growing world population. This theme focuses on sustainable wastewater treatment and management strategies. It aims to increase energy production while decreasing energy requirements for water treatment processes.

3. Water for Liveability and Resilience
This theme focuses on combining the experiences and expertise of governments, utility managers, industries and urban planners to develop water systems and solutions.



Here, I read on how Pharmafilter provides an environmentally friendly way of dealing with complex waste, sewage and wastewater stream produced from hospitals. It completely purifies wastewater by removing all impurities during the filtering process, thus preventing disruption of water life as well as diseases. In this process, many costs are saved in terms of treatment of hazards and wastewater charge. 40% reuse of water is also achievable.

4. Water Quality & Health
Water and health are closely connected; we need water for nutrients and to remove harmful toxins from our body. Any forms of contamination of water can lead to us falling sick or the failure of some of our organs. Access to safe drinking water, however, remains a challenge in many countries.


Dr. Hans Eikaas discusses how a pathogen vibro cholera, which is commonly found in flood waters, can cause severe diarrhea that leads to death especially in children. This can stem from surface water, sewage water, drainage water or any other sources that can eventually escape its water body and be consumed by people. Hence, careful urban planning such as mitigation of floods in flood-prone areas are critical to confine such waters. As he has put it, “Concentrate on emergency planning, not emergency response.”

5. Water for Industries
The global industrial sector has been identified as the 2nd largest water consumer. This theme highlights the importance of changing the way water and wastewater is used and managed by the industrial sector – especially of the oil & gas, F&B and mining industry – and how we can improve on industrial water sustainability.

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R.T van ‘t Oever quotes: “Better water = more oil”. Better water equates to one without oil and solid suspensions (but still with certain chemicals), and it is achieved using a process known as Ultrafiltration (UF). This ‘better’ water is then injected into the ground to squeeze out even more oil, which leads to better yield production.

S3 – Stop, Sanitise, Start. This is used for Pharmaceutical industries where water demand is not high, thus constant recirculation wastes energy to circulate pumps and other devices. With the S3 system, generation only sanitises and starts upon water demand, and when there is none, it stops. This saves water, waste and electricity at the same time.

The SIWW is the global platform for sharing and creating innovative water solutions. It delivers a range of flagship programmes where global water industry players share the latest business and technological innovations, as well as policy developments in water. From1st – 5th June 2014, it comprises of the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize, Water Leaders’ Summit, Water Convention, Water Expo, Business Forums, Industrial Water Solutions Forum, TechXchange and Hydro-gen.

Join me in taking the #SIWWpledge! For more SIWW related posts, you can read them over at 🙂


Outfit for the event!

This article was kindly contributed by blogger Wen Hui. Check out more posts by Wen Hui on her blog –

Interested to contribute to Water Chatter? Drop an email to or send us a message to our Facebook page – now!


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