Asia-Pacific Trialogue: Water Security of Urban Households

22 March 2012

Multilateral coherence in region booming with urbanism.

“The stakes are high”. This was the statement by Ravi Narayanan, Vice Chair of Asia Pacific Water Forum, in regard to  upcoming fights to reach the regional targets for Asia-Pacific. “In a big region, consequences of errors are extremely large” he remarked.

Water security of urban households was discussed in the Asia-Pacific Trialogue held on 14 March addressing the third regional target, Urban Water Security. This target aims to reduce by half the number of people who do not have access to safe drinking water by 2015, and to reach universal and sustainable access to water and sanitation in the Asia-Pacific region by 2025.

Mr. Bon Woo Koo, Deputy Mayor of Daegu Metropolitan City, opened the trialogue by an introduction to Daegu City’s history regarding water. As the host of 7th Forum in 2015, he voiced his welcome to the international community to come learn from Daegu’s experience in adapting to urbanisation by upping their drinking water and sanitation management.
Urban water issues are multiple and complex, however, Daegu is rising to the challenge both in quality and quantity. “We are able to meet 130% of the drinking water demand at a capacity of 1,640,000m3/day,” says Mr. Koo. They have also upgraded the waste water discharge quality, and are implementing techniques such as membranes and ozone for tertiary treatment. Mr. Koo proclaimed, “We’ll do our best to make the next forum successful with strong support and active participation from the international community.”

Mr. Chen Jiwei, Deputy Director of the Department of International Cooperation, Science and Technology in the Ministry of Water Resources, China, affirmed that cooperation at multiple levels such as central and local governments, local water entities and private companies are essential in ensuring integrity of the drinking water supply in urban areas. “China’s investment in water is growing every year in correlation with the water scarcity in urban areas. We will continue to contribute to solving water problems,” he says.

“Every Journey starts with new steps and we’re going in the right direction.” Mr. Michael Toh Kim Hock, Director of the Industry Development Department in PUB, Singapore, mentioned that their key to preventive water management is the active engagement of stakeholders. He touched upon Singapore’s NEWater reclamation project, and how technology will continue to play the leading role in sustainable development of water resources.

The panel wrapped it up by concluding that coherence on multiple layers are crucial for ensuring water security of urban households in the region.

Bulle En

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