‘Oman can learn water resource management from Singapore’

Singapore - 

Singapore - While Singapore has pitched itself as a global leader for sustainable development with a key focus on water resource management, Oman could take back a few lessons from this city state and apply it to meet some of its own challenges.

This was the view of H E Ali al Abri, the Undersecretary for Water Resources Affairs at the Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources in Oman, who spoke to Muscat Daily at the conclusion of Singapore International Water Week.

“This conference was a good chance to share the experiences and success stories on water resource management [in participating countries]. While we shared some of Oman’s success stories in meeting our water demand, we also realise there are areas which still need improvement.

Oman, for instance, is considering in what better ways we can reuse water for suitable purposes. We are also exploring additional water resources as the demand increases due to development and increased population,” Abri, who led the Omani delegation at the international event from July 1-5, told Muscat Daily on Thursday.

He cited that both Oman and Singapore depend on desalination as one of the key sources of clean water. Pointing out that Oman is witnessing increasing cases of flash floods, Abri said Singapore’s experience in channelising, draining and linking their water sources could possibly provide valuable solutions for flood management.

“Singapore has some unique experiences in water resource management and also on the technology that they use to monitor their resources. In that sense, we can learn a lot from the Singapore experience,” Abri said.

When asked whether Singapore can offer a sustainable development model to Muscat, Abri was quick to point out that solutions from one place cannot be replicated in another in toto.

“You can’t copy from one place to another. Also, sustainable development can be achieved only by keeping an eye on the future and no two places have identical futures.

"So you can learn from other’s experiences but then to develop a sustainable development plan, these various ideas have to be integrated and customised keeping in mind the needs and challenges of the place,” he said.

The fifth edition of Singapore International Water Week was held in conjunction with the third World Cities Summit and the inaugural CleanEnviro Summit. Over 15,000 participants including top government representatives from around the world attended the events.

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