Singapore is hosting International Water Week from June 23rd to June 27th of 2008. This first-annual event is to be held as a forum for “government officials, industry leaders and water specialists” to discuss policy, business, and water technology. Festivities of the week encompass a Water Trade Show, a Water Summit, and presentation of the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize to an innovator in the field of water technology.
In 2006, Singapore began wide-spread governmental investments in water technologies to accelerate economic growth in the water sector. No doubt hosting two-hundred exhibitors of water technologies will be great way for the country to stay abreast of additional investment opportunities.
However, several main sponsors of International Water Week include multinational corporations with questionable environmental and water management track records including:
- Black and Veatch, a company that aims to increase dam and reservoir construction in response to increasing water scarcity.
- The Dow Chemical Company, with a track record of dioxin contamination of waterways.
- French owned companies, SUEZ and Veolia Environment, both engaged in water privatization in developing countries (not known for great customer service or reliable water infrastructure).
Enterprising steps in the field of water technology are fundamental to ensure available water supplies now and into the future.
Does sponsorship of International Water Week by the above organizations make this event any less important? Not necessarily, but maybe it does mean that we should pay closer attention to these companies and their water management standards.