Water & Wastewater Asia • November / December 2018 GRUNDFOS SPECIAL | 19 Phnom Penh. The government managed to turn the situation around, largely through a range of policies that included stamping out corruption within the government, and aggressively investing in more meters and new water mains and pipes. As a result, the city’s access to running water grew from barely 20 per cent in 1993 to 90 per cent in 2012. Beyond the macro-challenges, governments can also positively influence the actions on a community and individual level by mobilising the masses to adopt water-saving actions such as recycling and reusing through initiatives and educational efforts. Between 1997 and 2009, Australia faced its worst drought in history. Melbourne’s government adopted a two-pronged approach to incentivise the crowd – educate the public on how quickly the city is running out of water by installing electronic billboards along highways to display current reservoir levels and enable people to save water by putting in place initiatives such as offering water- efficient showerheads. By the end of the drought, nearly one in three Melburnians had a rainwater holding tank, and they had replaced more than 460,000 showerheads, ultimately reducing Melbourne’s water demand per capita by almost 50 per cent. While legislation and educational efforts largely define the government’s direct role, a lot of scope for developing water solutions comes from the collaborations they foster, not just with other nations, but with the private sector as well. PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS Public-private partnerships are vital in tackling the water crisis. While industry players can introduce innovative solutions to address water-related issues, as well as bring unique expertise to the table, a mandate and support from the government is also critical to a project’s success. By leveraging synergies in research and development, and through the exchange of best practices, we will be able to come up with and deploy solutions more quickly and effectively. For example, Singapore’s National Water Agency, the Public Utilities Board (PUB), has been working with global pumpmanufacturer Grundfos on a number of research and development projects since 2014, on the back of an agreement to develop efficient water technologies and solutions collaboratively. This partnership was recently renewed for another three years at the recent Singapore International Water Week. One of the projects is the BACMON++ project, which aims to demonstrate and evaluate the operational value of applying Grundfos BACMON sensors in PUB’s water supply system. Grundfos BACMON technology offers on-line monitoring of total bacteria concentration in near real-time, improving current bacterial monitoring of the water network, thus having the potential to ensure safe water storage and delivery. Public-private partnerships can enable the introduction of such private sector technologies to improve public services, while maintaining the status of water as a public right. CONCLUSION Ultimately, the water crisis can and is affecting populations globally, which means we are all stakeholders in its preservation. The governments around the world have the power to not just implement policies but also support the industry and mobilise the masses, ensuring that we are addressing the water crisis at all levels of water governance. WWA Grundfos and PUB signed a memorandum of understanding to develop water technologies 1 Leadership Ground on Water Security in Asia. Asia’s Next Challenge: Securing the Region’s Water Future. 2 Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2016. Projections of Water Stress Based on an Ensemble of Socioeconomic Growth and Climate Change Scenarios: A Case Study in Asia. 3 University of Oxford, 2015. Water insecurity ‘costs the global economy hundreds of billions of dollars annually’.