Government support is the key to water investment and business growth, say water experts
- United Arab Emirates: Wednesday, December 05 - 2012 at 16:45
- PRESS RELEASE
Water governance and investment will be key topics addressed at the inaugural International Water Summit (IWS), which will take place on 15-17 January 2013, as a part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.
The International Water Summit will include a Ministerial Panel session, entitled 'Understanding the Role of Water Governance in Improving Global Water Sustainability', which will introduce us to the global challenges surrounding the water-energy nexus including how food, health, energy, growing scarcity and climate change set the scene for water governance challenges.
OCED'S Anthony Cox and Men Leong Chew from the Public Utilities Board Singapore will lead an interactive panel discussion on 'Understanding how an Arid Region may Continue Sustainable Growth and Economic Development despite Scarcity Challenges' which will focus on how water scarce regions can take a strategic approach to the role of tariff, tax and transfer (TTT).
The implementation of international agreements and global standards for water policy will be the focus of the workshop on 'Global Institutional Cooperation for Enhancing Water Governance,' which will feature expert panelists such as Bekele Debele Negewo from the World Bank, Faraj Al-Awar from the Global Water Operators Partnership Alliance and Uschi Eid, Vice Chair to the UN Secretary General's Advisory Board on Water.
The importance of such issues is highlighted by the results of a recent survey conducted by Reed Exhibitions, the organizers of IWS 2013. According to the survey, international water experts believe regulatory compliance and political initiatives are the main drivers for water industry investment.
International companies and consultancies in the water industry strongly endorsed government support for water initiatives, either through regulation or project investment, especially as a means to stimulate business.
Furthermore, water-related investments around the world demonstrate a global trend that underlines the fact that water sustainability is fast becoming an international priority, especially in arid regions.
In Asia, Vietnam has received $200m loan from the World Bank for a new water and sanitation project which, when completed, will deliver improved sanitation for 650,000 people and secure clean drinking water for 1.7 million people.
In India, the new Water Minister said that he will prioritize the country's National Water Policy by accelerating the completion of water-related programs that have been delayed.
In the MENA region, Libya is set to invest $10-30bn over the next few years in water, sanitation and energy reconstruction projects, including the replacement of mains pipes, desalination projects and upgrades to drinking water and sewage treatment plants.
Meanwhile, Iraq's Kurdistan region plans to invest USD135 million to expand a treatment plant from 600 cubic metres per day to 10,000 cubic metres per day, and replace old mains pipes in Irbil and drinking water pipelines in Dahuk.
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