Water & Wastewater Asia Jul/Aug 2018

WATER & WASTEWATER ASIA July / August 2018 66 Q Can you share with us about your thoughts on the YoungWater Leaders’ Summit (YWLS)? RA The Young Water Leaders’ Summit, and SIWW in general, gives young leaders the opportunity to be at the frontier of research and innovation in the global water sector. As a resident of a developing nation (Pakistan) that is facing significant issues relating to both water supply and drinking water quality, I believe YWLS offers a much-needed platform to learn about solutions that may be relevant to my context. Such a platform will no doubt be incredibly useful in helping provide direction to my work. Q How did you join the water industry? RA As an undergraduate at Stanford University, I came back to Pakistan the summer before my final year to conduct thesis research on healthcare problems in an urban slum community of Karachi. It was during the course of this research that I got exposure to the problem of faecal contamination in drinking water. Only about 10 per cent of the residents were boiling their water at home – the rest were consuming contaminated water without any treatment. Coming from a public health background, I felt I needed to direct my efforts to increasing access to and usage of safe water sources. This led to the birth of Sukoon Water after my graduation. Q Why are you looking to participate the YWLS? RA I have been interested in the Singapore water story for some time. How the country has innovated on issues pertaining to water has been a source of inspiration for me. I have also been searching for water conferences globally that I can be a part of and learn from. While researching Singapore’s water innovations, I came across the Singapore International Water Week website and YWLS. It seemed a perfect mix of my interest in learning more about the Singapore water story and taking part in a leading water conference. Sustainable Development Goal 6 can only be achieved through a combination of local and global action. Local knowledge from practitioners such as myself helps shed light on the context that different countries find themselves in with regards to sustainable water management. However, the tool kits and range of solutions available to us can only come from global exposure. Q What are some of your proudest achievements and how has it shaped you as a person? RA O n e o f m y p r o u d e s t achievements is less an achievement and more a decision that I took to return back to Pakistan after working in the United States (U.S.) for seven months. Despite all the rational reasons to stay on in the U.S., I felt that I needed to understand the local context of Pakistan and develop my core instincts in the Pakistani environment in order to be effective at being a public health leader. This decision raised the eyebrows of certain people close to me, but it helped me THE YOUNG WATER LEADERS’ SUMMIT (YWLS ) is an event at the Singapore International Water Week that empowers young water professionals with leadership potential to develop their careers in the water industry, and to connect water professionals with established business leaders, who serve as a role model. Water and Wastewater Asia finds out from Rehan Adamjee, founder and CEO of Sukoon Water and YWLS 2018 attendee, on his thoughts about the industry as a YWL and his goals and aspirations.