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Malaysia To Host International Water Conference






KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 27 (Bernama) -- Malaysia will host a two-day international conference on water from Nov 18 against the backdrop of a looming global water shortage.

The Asia Pacific Water Conference 2008, the first of its kind to be organised, will see the exchange of views and sharing of best practices in water resources management among experts from Malaysia, the Philippines, the United States, Russia, Germany, Singapore, Indonesia, Denmark and India.

The conference, themed "A Shared Future in Water" to be held at the Sheraton Subang Hotel and Towers in Subang Jaya, is jointly organised by the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) and the Water Association of Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya (Swan), according to a statement.

The conference is held in efforts to help water-stress cities meet their critical water challenges, find practical solutions and achieve global water sustainability given such phenomena as global warming, rapid urbanisation and extensive water pollution, it said.

The statement paints a gloomy scenario on the water front -- 1.1 billion people having no access to clean drinking water and 65 per cent of the world's population will not have enough fresh drinking water by the year 2025.

Other predictions: A third of the world's population lives in water-stressed countries now and this is expected to rise to two-thirds by 2025 and global water consumption is doubling every 20 years, more than twice the rate of human population growth.

"Water crisis requires urgent remedies to their roots of problems, mainly river water pollution, environmental degradation and destruction," the statement said.

It said the Malaysian water industry had faced major crisis in the past 15 years such as the water crisis in Melaka in 1990, Selangor in 1998 and both Negeri Sembilan and Johor in 2005.

This has led the government to expedite measures including privatization of water treatment and supply industry.

The statement said under the five-year Ninth Malaysia Plan up to 2010, the Malaysian government has allocated RM16.54 billion for the development of water, wastewater and environmental related industry.





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