Friday, June 6, 2014

Singapore International Water Week: Public-Private Partnership Business Forum


Last morning, I had the opportunity to attend the Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) at Marina Bay Sands (MBS).

For the uninitiated, SIWW is the global platform for sharing and co-creating innovative water solution. Comprising the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize, Water Leaders Summit, Water Convention, Water Expo, Business Forums, Industrial Water Solutions Forum, TechXchange and Hydro-gen, SIWW delivers a range of flagship technological innovations, as well as policy developments in water.

Initially I was a little hesitant because it is so different from the usual stuff that I blog about. It has nothing to do with OOTDs, café hopping, beauty products or even anything that I’m remotely comfortable with. However, I’m glad that I decided to take up this “challenge”, because it was quite an eye-opening experience!

I woke up way earlier than my usual time – totally not a morning person – and went for the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Business Forum.

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Always excited to wear passes like this! It makes me feel important.

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The speakers were:
  1. Mr Christopher Gasson (Publisher, Global Water Intelligence)
  2. Mr Cledan Mandri-Perrott (Lead Financial Officer, The World Bank)
  3. Mr Patrick Andrew Mullen (Principal Water & Sanitation Specialist, International Finance Corporation)
  4. Ms Usha Rao-Monari (CEO, Global Water Development Partners)
  5. Ms Sinthya Roesly (President Director, Indonesia Infrastructure Guarantee Fund)
  6. Engineer Taqsem Khan (Managing Director, Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority
  7. Dr Olivia Jensen (Asia Editor, Global Water Intelligence)

Based on who they are, it’s already a lot to take in in an early morning! Fortunately I managed to sit through it and gained some insights! :D

It was mentioned that things like telecom, transport, and energy have received a lot of financing, and water has some catching up to do. PPPs can help improve access to safe water and sanitation services by delivering service to households, building new infrastructure, improving technology or using clean technology to better meet the needs of the community.  

To put it simply:
Public sector arranges resources > Private sector bears the cost > Private sector bears safety related risks > Government and public avails the service by payment 

We all know water is important, but honestly, living in a country like Singapore, how often have we taken the availability of water for granted? Some facts for all of us to think about:


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(Credit: www.water.org)

Here’s also a short video that I found:



We can’t solve huge water related problems on our own, but we can definitely play a part, no matter how small, towards a common water cause. Let’s start by doing what we do best: taking a selfie! I kid you not!

HOW?
1. Upload a selfie
2. Type in your water pledge
3. Submit and share it with your friends

For every #SIWWpledge, S$1 will be donated to www.water.org.

Also, if you are interested to read up more about water and SIWW, do check out PUB’s official blog

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