Professor Tony Wong (CEO), Professor Jurg Keller (Chief Research Officer), Professor Rob Skinner (Deputy Chairman of our board and Director of Monash Water Sensitive Cities), Ms Kerrie Burge (International Engagement Manager—Asia Pacific) and Ms Katie Hammer (Project Manager, IRP1) were all part of the 8th Singapore International Water Week (SIWW). What started as an annual business-oriented conference 10 years ago, has grown into a biennial event that balances scientific–technical aspects with industry-focused and commercial activities.
The 2018 event (8–12 July 2018) was promoted as a global platform to share and co-create innovative water solutions for urban sustainable development, sharing best practices, showcasing the latest technologies, and tapping business opportunities.
The program consisted of:
- the Water Convention, which ran ‘hot issue’ workshops, technology-driven business sessions, technical/scientific sessions and an extensive poster display
- the Water Leaders’ Summit, which brought together water industry leaders, government regulators and policy makers, to discuss how water management should evolve as cities develop
- the Water Expo, which showcased upcoming and trending water technologies.
One of this year’s hot issue workshops discussed strengthening the delivery of WaSH (water, sanitation and hygiene) to urban informal settlements in the Asia Pacific region. Tony Wong, Rob Skinner and Kerrie Burge were part of the panel discussing ways to integrate ‘green infrastructure’ (such as constructed wetlands) to improve sanitation and water quality, using work done as part of the Revitalising Informal Settlements and their Environments Program as examples. The workshop catalysed discussions on the vulnerability of urban informal settlements, reflecting a greater dominance of environmental faecal contamination factors exacerbated by climate change.
Inspiring presentations on the RISE program improving Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in informal settlements in Indonesia and Fiji by @tonywong_crc and @kerrieburge at #SIWW2018 today. Great insights from Rob Skinner and local partners in Makassar and Suva. pic.twitter.com/fl0H2yUKfp— John Bradley (@DELWP_Secretary) July 8, 2018
“We need to strengthen traditional WaSH approaches used in urban informal settlements, to account for both the capacity of the receiving environment to assimilate the waste stream from conventional sanitation interventions, as well as the effect of local flooding in redistributing faecal contaminants throughout the settlement”, said Tony.
Jurg Keller was part of another panel, exploring new technologies for pre-treating wastewater.
Other activities throughout the week included Katie Hammer presenting the work of IRP1 at the Water Convention, and Tony speaking at a number of other events.
Tony also moderated a side event that week, hosted by Liveability Victoria International, a division of the Victorian Government Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), a CRCWSC Essential Participant. The event featured DELWP Secretary John Bradley as the keynote speaker, and showcased initiatives in enhancing the resilience and liveability of Victorian cities and towns.
Overall, our CRCWSC representatives had a very busy, but productive week in Singapore.
“Water Sensitive Cities principles and practices are still only a relatively small element of the SIWW Water Convention, but interest is growing”, said Jurg. “Many are yet to recognise the role and value of green infrastructure solutions and city transition strategies, and how they can play a key role in progressing these ideas. So, there is still plenty of work for the CRCWSC and its local and global supporters, but the movement is gaining momentum.”
SIWW is organised by Singapore International Water Week Pty Ltd, a company set up by Singapore’s Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources and PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency. The 2018 event was huge:
- more than 24,000 participants, including 110 regions/countries
- 500 water leaders
- S$23 billion in business announcements.
SIWW is part of the Singapore Government’s strategic program to grow the water industry and develop water technologies. The 2018 event was held in conjunction with the 6th World Cities Summit and the 4th CleanEnviro Summit Singapore.