Record Number of Youths at Singapore International Water Week

15.06.2010

For the first time, the Singapore International Water Week is working with all five polytechnic institutions in Singapore to appoint a record number of close to 600 polytechnic student ambassadors for the global platform for water solutions.

Testament to the growing awareness, ownership and action by youths in water issues, the Singapore International Water Week will also host 15 events and initiatives for young leaders to learn and contribute their perspectives in water issues.

The student ambassadors, which has grown over two folds in number, will be assigned roles and responsibilities that complement their respective fields of study so as to maximise their out-of-the-classroom learning opportunities. From event logistics to direct liaison and interaction with delegates and water companies, the student ambassadors will be involved in various aspects of the Water Week, and will gain insights on the importance of this resource to leaders around the world. They will be joined by around 50 undergraduates from the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University, who will be volunteering their time to serve as assistant liaison officers.

In addition to these student ambassadors, this year’s Singapore International Water Week will also see a larger number of youth-oriented events aimed at involving the next generation of water talents in the dialogue. Some 120 youths will debate and discuss water-related socio-economic issues at the two-day NYAA Asia Pacific Youth Water Forum; Asian Water Symposium will engage 150 secondary and junior college students in water issues; and the Symposium for Young Water Talents will provide over 15 presenters with an invaluable platform to present their research and practical water applications and solutions to the industry.

Acknowledging the value of the Singapore International Water Week in providing real-world knowledge and experience to young talent, Singapore Polytechnic has offered its students the opportunity to participate in the event since its inception in 2008. The polytechnic is also jointly-organising the Singapore International Water Festival (SIWF) with PUB, Singapore’s national water agency. The festival aims to raise water appreciation and awareness of water issues among youths through a host of water activities that allow them to enjoy the active, beautiful and clean waters in Singapore.

Tan Hang Cheong, Principal, Singapore Polytechnic said: “As an institution of higher learning, Singapore Polytechnic is proud to join PUB in organising Singapore International Water Festival, for the second year running. SIWF will be held in conjunction with Singapore International Water Week from 26 to 27 June during which nearly 3,000 students from Singapore’s schools and public sector organisations will stage performances and compete in water events at Marina Bay. Beyond the fun, bonding and camaraderie that will be aplenty, it is hoped that SIWF 2010 will evolve into a truly international event where responsible citizens of the world will gather annually in Singapore to effect change.”

Global water companies are also doing their part to encourage water-consciousness among Singapore’s youths. Sembcorp, one of the 17 founding sponsors of the Water Week, will be collaborating with the Singapore Membrane Technology Centre and PUB to launch the inaugural Sembcorp Water Technology Prize for students at the Singapore International Water Week. Another founding sponsor Black and Veatch has also appointed some dozens of students from Ngee Ann Polytechnic to report on key event highlights on www.SIWWDiary.com, a dedicated Water Week blog, so as to hone the knowledge of the water industry and interest in water management issues among these budding journalists.

“The social media initiative is a smart, responsible and meaningful way to engage Singapore’s next generation of thought leaders and influencers while helping them understand the importance and value of water,” said Constance Ward, Communications Director for Black & Veatch’s global water business. “Singapore continues to be a shining example for water agencies all around the globe and remains at the forefront of providing its public valuable education about managing an integrated water portfolio from creation right through to delivery of a reliable and sustainable supply.”

Michael Toh, Managing Director, Singapore International Water Week, said: “The record number of students volunteering and exciting youth-oriented events at the Singapore International Water Week this year augments Singapore’s reputation as a global hydrohub – where there are concerted efforts to drive greater ownership in water conservation and sustainability, be it among water companies or the youth and community. These programmes and events aim to help the young develop a genuine interest and relationship with water such that they will want to care for it. We also want youths to see the exciting potential that the water industry offers.”

The youth and community will be able to participate actively at the following events during Singapore International Water Week 2010:

Singapore International Water Festival (26 – 27 June)

Co-organised by PUB and Singapore Polytechnic, the Festival focuses on raising awareness of water issues among youths. Water activities such as rowing by the bay, sailing joy ride, canoeing and dragon boat rowing will be available. There will also be thrilling jet ski and wakeboarding demonstrations at the Marina Barrage as part of the Festival.

NYAA Asia Pacific Youth Water Forum (26 – 29 June)

The two-day forum organised by the National Youth Achievement Award Committee addresses socio-economic issues in the water industry and encourages youths aged between 14 and 35 to discuss global water industry challenges. The Forum will be opened by Associate Professor Ho Peng Kee, Senior Minister of State for Law and Home Affairs, and will be attended by 120 youth leaders from Australia, Bangladesh, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Singapore.

Water Showcases (26 June – 4 July)

Guided tours of Singapore’s key water facilities such as the MacRitchie, Kranji and Lower Seletar Reservoirs, the Marina Barrage, the NEWater Visitor Centre and the Berlayer Creek will be conducted. Members of the public can also visit the Environment Education Hub at Marsiling Secondary School, and Commonwealth Secondary School’s constructed treatment wetland in the school compound and floating wetland at the Pandan Reservoir.

Symposium for Young Water Talents (28 June)

Organised by Nanyang Technological University and International Water Association, the annual symposium features technical sessions where international postgraduate students present their research work and findings.

Networking Reception (28 June)

Understanding the need to connect aspiring water talent with industry experts, the reception organised by Singapore Water Association and PUB will create the meeting platform for youths to interact and learn from water professionals attending the Water Week. Industry professionals are expected to attend the reception which is open to all participants of the Asia Pacific Youth Water Forum and Symposium for Young Water Talents.

Asian Water Symposium (30 June)

The Asian Water Symposium promises to be an engaging seminar and dialogue session between industry water experts and over 150 student representatives from local secondary schools and junior colleges. The Symposium is organised by Waterways Watch Society and Dunman High School and will focus on urban water solutions. Dr Amy Khor, Mayor of Southwest CDC and Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Water Resources is the guest-of-honour for this event.

IDA-Young Leaders Program Educational Tour (1 July)

The International Desalination Association (IDA) Young Leaders Programme educational tour taking place in Nanyang Technological University is hosted by Singapore Membrane Technology Centre (SMTC) and supported by PUB, Singapore. The guided tour includes a visit to the SMTC Lab and talks by Ms. Lisa Henthorne, Chief Technology Advisor, Water Standard and Prof. Anthony Fane, Director, Singapore Membrane and Technology Centre on opportunities and trends in desalination.

Primary Schools Water Festival 2010 (2 July)

This is the first forum of its kind to be organised by multi-agencies from the people, public and private sectors to educate young students on the importance of conserving, valuing and enjoying our waters. Organised by Waterways Watch Society and Bukit View Primary School, with support from PUB, the programme includes interactive game stations for 120 primary school students to play and learn about water. These games will be hosted by students from Dunman High School, adding a mentoring dimension to the programme.

Source: PUB

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