Singapore Youth Water Conference 2019

On 10 July 2019, the inaugural Singapore Youth Water Conference was held at RI’s Performing Arts Centre. The plenary session, “The Future of Water” featured keynote speakers Mr. Ng Joo Hee, Chief Executive of PUB and Prof. Asit K. Biswas, visiting professor from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.


Water-related issues which included policymaking, international relations, technology and business and commercial interests were discussed. A dialogue session featuring the keynote speakers and Dr. Cecilia Tortajada, a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Water Policy at Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Mr. Eugene Heng, Founder and CEO of Waterways Watch Society and Mr. Charles Quek, Vice President of the Singapore Water Association took place after.


With a panel of interesting and experienced speakers, the highlight of the event was certainly the dialogue session, which was most engaging for students. Good questions were asked, and enthusiastically discussed by the speakers.

Some of the topics that arose were focused on the Singapore water situation, such as the price of water, what options are possible for Singapore’s future water supply and the increasing demand from economic activities. There were many questions directed at Mr. Ng. Some revelations and points made about how PUB functions, such as an integrated water cycle managed by one agency, for collecting and producing potable water, while treating waste water, highlighted the unique approach taken by Singapore compared to other countries.

While a lot was being said about the water situation in Singapore, students also enjoyed the interesting anecdotes in the keynote lecture from Prof. Biswas, about the water situation in the rest of Asia. It was enlightening and encouraging to hear that solutions are doable, and countries in Asia, such as Cambodia, Singapore, and China are making the right moves towards a bright future in water. However, for some other countries, such as India a major hurdle to implementing good solutions in water management lie in politics and handicapped bureaucracies in water agencies.


If one could ask for anything more, it would be more time for the Q&A in the dialogue. There was much untapped potential in the panel, and students could have the opportunity to ask about any topic ranging from the kind of community and advocacy approaches they can take, to the career opportunities and the future of the private sector in water related industries.

After the dialogue session, projects by students from Raffles Institution, Raffles Girls’ School, Hwa Chong Institution, Nanyang Polytechnic and Bukit View Secondary School were exhibited at this conference.

(Photos courtesy of PUB)

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#Community #eco-lit #school happenings

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