Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Singapore says world can learn from its water policies

Marseille, France: Government policymakers, non-governmental organisations and campaign groups have gathered in Marseille for the 6th World Water Forum.

The event has seen the United Nations issue a warning that strains on the world's water supply are increasing and that a radical rethink of water policy is needed.

Singapore is engaged in the debate and it says the world can learn much from its water policies.

As many as 20,000 participants from 140 countries are expected for the six-day event, including scores of ministers for the environment and water.

They will discuss the problems the world faces in securing its water supply in the face of exploding populations and climate change.

The UN says climate change will drastically affect food production - particularly in South Asia - between now and 2030, with Asia being home to 60 per cent of the world's population but only around a third of water resources.

So the continent is well represented in Marseille - with Singapore keen to take part in an increasingly pressing debate.

Singapore's Environment and Water Resources Minister, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, said: "The sense that I get from this event so far is that there's a greater sense of urgency that the problems are looming and are going to become more acute in the future."

The forum is not just about explaining the difficulties the world faces with water - it's also about showing off some possible solutions.

And Singapore - as a city state - feels it has valuable experiences to share.

Dr Balakrishnan said: "Because more than 50 per cent of humanity now lives in cities, urban solutions for water - meaning how do you keep it clean, how do you make sure that every drop of rain that falls into a drain ultimately ends in a reservoir and then ends up in a pipe in your kitchen, in your bedroom - have become a significant issue for many parts of the world.

"So the way we do it in Singapore - the rules, the regulations, the pricing - the whole politics of water is relevant to the rest of the world."

The solutions to these problems will have to be global, but Singapore hopes to prove at the forum that it can make a valuable contribution.

View the original article here

Source From Channel News Asia

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