Water & Wastewater Asia Nov/Dec 2018

Water & Wastewater Asia • November / December 2018 INSIGHT | 39 the water issues the world is increasingly faced with today, and works tirelessly and endlessly with other water leaders to champion water causes and ensure there is enough for all. Q: WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CHANGES YOU HAVE OBSERVED IN THE WATER SECTOR IN THE WORLD, AND ESPECIALLY IN SOUTH EAST ASIA AND SINGAPORE OVER THE PAST FIVE TO TEN YEARS? President Braga: There has been an increase inpolitical attention towater issues, evidenced by the recognition of the Right to Water and Sanitation by the United Nations in 2010. In South East Asia, water-related disasters remain at the forefront of concerns. In parallel, however, and just as important, Asia’s technological advancements, such as SMART water management from South Korea and water recycling in Singapore, set an example for the rest of the world. Q: WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CHANGES YOU FORESEE OVER THE COMING FIVE TO TEN YEARS? PB: One of the most important changes we hope to welcome is the delivery on Agenda 2030 through partnerships and shared responsibility. The needs represented by the goals are too great for stakeholders to act in isolation, so cooperation will be the key. The 9 th World Water Forum is set to be held in Dakar, Senegal in 2021, and will seek to bring together political decision-makers and water stakeholders from all over the world to leverage greater collective action for Africa and other regions, and to promote strong cooperation within the continent and the rest of the world to accelerate progress on global goals. Q: WITH SO MANY CHANGES IN THE WATER INDUSTRY LATELY, WHAT DO YOU THINK IS AHEAD FOR THE INDUSTRY AS A WHOLE, ESPECIALLY IN SOUTH EAST ASIA AND SINGAPORE? PB: Increasing availability and resilience by securing our water resources involves the construction of reservoirs and maintaining infrastructure, among other things. In addition, there must be sound governance and rational management and use of water, whichmeans all sectorsmust share resources fairly and encourage citizens to be efficient with water use in their own homes. Industry needs to recycle and reuse water and ensure irrigation usesmore efficient methods. Managing demand in this way will enable us to use our water resources more efficiently and effectively. Q: DIGITALISATION HAS REVOLUTIONISED THE WATER INDUSTRY, BUT HOW HAS IT CHANGED THE COMPETITIVE LANDSCAPE FOR WATER TREATMENTS, SUCH AS WASTEWATER TREATMENT AND DESALINATION? PB: It’s often heard that “you can’t manage what you can’t measure.” The intelligent linking of data from different sources, such as sensors, water meters or weather data, creates new opportunities for more efficient use of water in industry, agriculture and in municipal utilities, thus supporting sustainability and, in keeping with current trends, increases competitiveness. Q: HOWWILL ALL THESE TECHNOLOGIES IMPROVE WATER SUSTAINABILITY, NOT JUST IN SINGAPORE, BUT THE WORLD AS WELL? PB: The same forces that unleashed the Industrial Internet is now encouraging the digitisation of the global water business and public sector ecosystem. The lessons obtained from digitisation of other sectors such as heavy industry, manufacturing, power, media, retail, communications, healthcare, and education are being successfully applied to water infrastructure and commercial projects. Digitalisation is opening up new opportunities for the improvement of water infrastructure capital and operating efficiency, improving public safety and health through real-time monitoring, and early detection of major and minor asset failures at a much lower cost, thus enabling these countries to leapfrog over traditional development pathways. Q: WHAT IS YOUR OPINION REGARDING THE WORLD’S, AND ESPECIALLY SINGAPORE’S, WATER-ENERGY NEXUS? PB: Water connects sectors, as they all need water to operate sustainably. The inextricable linkages between water and energy require a holistic approach as they are also linked to other important issues such as health and food. Theses inter-linkages are compelling governments, the private sector, communities, academia and other stakeholders to explore integrated solutions. This approach eases pressures and helps explore development avenues based on a sustainable and efficient use of limited resources. This interlinking approach requires continued dialogue between the different communities, highlighting the significance of forums like the recent World Water Forum held in March in Brazil. Q: WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR WATER LEADERS? PB: Water leaders need to get their messages out to other actors and other sectors and highlight the fact that water needs to be their first priority, because without enough good quality water, nothing else can be achieved and it puts our future in jeopardy. WWA Image credits: WWC/S. Sauerzapfe