“Dare to start, dare to learn. Find your way by doing”, that was the message by Dutch special water envoy Henk Ovink at the Water Leaders Summit in Singapore on 10 July.

Ovink participated in the panel of the first of a series of meetings by global water industry leaders to share their ideas on pressing water issues together with government regulators and policy think-thanks.
The kick off meeting of the Water Leaders Summit is part of the Singapore International Water Week 2016 that takes place from 10 – 14 July.

 dws-siww2016-leaders-ovink-350px Create a confidential setting for collaboration, recommended Dutch special water envoy Henk Ovink.

No excuse to wait any longer
“There is no lack of money for water projects to address the pressing water issue”, Ovink declined the outcome of an opinion poll amongst the summit’s attendance that had been asked for the largest threat to success in the water industry. By far the attendance choose for the lack of money.

“The money is sitting out there. We need bankable water projects”, he riposted.

“There is no golden bullet. The water issues are complex but that is no excuse to wait any longer. Find your way and learn by doing”, the Dutch special envoy advised the water industry present.

Ovink emphasized the importance of a process that include the involvement of local communities. “Create a confidential setting for collaboration and don’t be afraid to fail.”

dws-siww2016-leaders-panel-jaraud2-350pxFormer UN Water chair Michel Jarraud challenged the water industry to make steps forwards.

Even more complex
Cities are growing at staggering rates and in the developed world the water infrastructure is ageing. If the water industry does not move fast enough it will not be able to deliver its services.

At the same time cities will become unliveable if they fail to create more space for green-blue corridors.

“And climate change makes it even more complex”, added Michel Jarraud, former chair on UN water, who also participated in the panel. “We are used to base our decisions on data from the past, but due to climate change this data is no longer good enough."

Jarraud also warned that the water industry cannot solve all water issues at once. "Try to achieve more and make reasonable steps forwards", he recommended.

Grants for innovative projects
Good news came from panellist Amy Leung, deputy assistance at the water office of the Asian Development Bank. “We are providing special grants for project involving innovative water technology or innovative business models”.

According to Leung the ADB focuses on the reduction of non-revenue water. “We calculated that water utilities in Asian countries loss 9 billion US dollar on the production of water that is not paid for. Proposals for water projects shall to address, for instance by concluding leak detection”, Leung said.

The Asian Development Bank wants to allocated 25 percent of its future loans to water projects.

Stay tuned
Stay tuned as news items on this website will keep you posted on the Dutch contribution to the Singapore International Water Week 2016.

Read also on this website
● SIWW 2016: A look back on an event that showcased a water industry willing to innovate, 18 July 2016
● SIWW 2016: PWN Technologies presents design CeraMac plant for Choa Chu Kang Waterworks, Singapore, 15 July 2016
● SIWW 2016: Aquaporin and Berghof Membranes announce development of new forward osmosis technology for waste water, 13 July 2016
● SIWW 2016: Optiqua to provide EventLab real time monitoring for drinking water network Shandong, China, 13 July 2016
●  SIWW 2016: Weida to become licensed manufacturer for man-powered VP500 Villagepump, 13 July 2016
● SIWW 2016: Waternet Amsterdam and PUB Singapore enter into a partnership for knowledge sharing, 12 July 2016
● SIWW 2016: Watershare launched Community of practice on emerging substances, 12 July 2016
● Meet the Dutch water sector at Singapore International Water Week 2016
● Magazine: Singapore - the Netherlands: Partnerships for water challenges (pdf-file)
● Meet the Dutch water sector at Singapore International Water Week 2016
● SIWW2014: Dutch water tech took centre stage at Singapore water week, 11 June 2014

More information
Singapore International Water Week