Young Water Leader’s Experience – Tith Chandara

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Drink Water in Singapore is yet Meaningful

While coming to Singapore this time, I have heard again and again that Singapore used to learn from my country, Cambodia. It was a bit pity for me at first while Cambodia looks far beyond Singapore’s development, but I think I appreciate this development and we should learn back. What impressed me at most during the Young Water Leaders Summit is “Water Security for the future; Water and Sanitation and Water Stewardship”.

Looking around toward water security, I think we are facing a great challenge in the future, not only my country and Singapore but also around the globe. We can’t just stop climate change overnight, but we can adapt to the climate change. Though we are in the same region, Singapore and Cambodia are geographical different for the fact that Singapore has a limited water resource and even import from Malaysia. What I have learnt more is that PUB did a great job to treat the water into uses and drinking again. “Singapore has a special value for water. [This country] doesn’t have resource and natural resources to produce water, but Singapore treats water very well,” said Mr. Michael Ma, Founder of Indochine. This is probably most people have heard, but we should build more publicity that water is such important like this. Those who have more water people should better think of what if one day they don’t have water. So we better think that while using that free water we need to do something to pay back.

As I remember from the talk of Mr. Chew Men Leong, CE PUB saying that access to water is a fundamental of human rights, but it doesn’t mean you don’t pay. That means water consumers need to understand the value of water and pay at least your respect to water. We need sustainability in the future for our children and children’s children.

Just last year, some place in Cambodia faced a water shortage. Then the local brought water from the other provinces. This shouldn’t happen for a country having such natural resources. We can’t blame climate change alone, but we should reflect how people use water so far. While sitting beside the Marina Barrage, I was picturing in Cambodia and questioning why we face water shortage and how to prevent it from happening again.

After awhile, another session of water stewardship brought me another knowledge that company should be a responsible stakeholder for water. Some business does exploit water. Corporate social responsibility must come.

We enjoy sharing thoughts with each other during the session. I am happy that I am there as a media person at least to put some ideas about media into any implementation on water issue. I believe media is an important stakeholder in all matter and all issues. We should never forget media.

The most active session I enjoyed the most was the discussion about stewardship following by the panel discussion. I wrote down quite few important quotes that inspired me to think critically more about water.

Insight Piece:

What I like about the YWLS is that I had my first time drinking PUB water. It’s such an exclusive water of Singapore.

By Tith Chandara from Cambodia

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