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Singapore to host inaugural International Water Week

02 July 2007 (CNA)

SINGAPORE: Singapore will host an inaugural international event to showcase new water technologies and solutions.

6,000 delegates will convene at Suntec Singapore from 23-27 June 2008, for the five-day Singapore International Water Week.

A Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize, with a kitty of S$1.5 million over five years, will also be awarded at the event.

The Singapore meeting is set to complement the well-known World Water Week, held in Stockholm annually.

The lack of drinking water is fast becoming a huge problem for many countries.

Singapore has prepared for this by producing NEWater, used mainly for industrial purposes currently.

This initiative of recycling used water has gained Singapore international recognition, and organisers say the country is well-poised to host the international meeting, which is set to break new grounds.

The meeting is expected to cost between S$2 million and S$4 million.

Said Khoo Teng Chye, Executive Director, Environment & Water Industry Development Council, "We want to create an event for the water industry that really would be a global event that would attract water leaders and water experts... every year.

"... this will be differentiated and complementary to other international water events, in that we will focus on technologies... application... successful solutions, and... the Asia Pacific area in which we operate."

One of the highlights of the event is the award of the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize - worth S$300,000, a gold medallion and a certificate.

The international water award recognises individuals and organisations for their outstanding contribution to solving the world's water problems, through implementation of policies or application of innovative technologies.

Khoo said: "More than half of the world's population will be urbanised or live in cities by the year 2008. Water is a key resource that has to be very well-managed in urban areas.

"We think that in Singapore, the way that we have solved our water problems as a city state, is something that we could share.

"That's why we've decided, for the inaugural Singapore Water Week, on the theme of 'Sustainable Water Solutions for Cities'."

A water festival at the Marina Barrage will also likely be held in conjunction with the International Water Week. - CNA/yy