Water Journal : Water Journal February 2014
WATER FEBRUARY 2014 WATER AND WASTEWATER: THE MALAYSIAN EXPERIENCE The 2013 ICWWM Conference gathered scientists from all around the world and provided valuable insights on the current issues associated with water and wastewater management not only in Malaysia, but also in many other parts of the world. Peter McCafferty, Malarvili Ramalingam, Magdalena Wajrak and Shanmuga S Kittappa report. The International Conference on Water and Wastewater Management (ICWWM) 2013 was recently held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in conjunction with Lab Asia '13 and Chem Asia '13, and the 6th Regional Conference on Total Laboratory Management (6QSEL). The trade show associated with the exhibitions displayed the wares of more than 150 companies, including signi cant groups from Germany, Singapore, Poland, China and India. Joint organisers of the conference were: • Institut Kimia Malaysia (IKM) • Academy of Sciences Malaysia (ASM) • Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) • Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) • Chemistry Department Malaysia (JKM) • Suruhanjaya Perkhidmatan Air Malaysia (SPAN) • National Hydrological Research Institute of Malaysia (NAHRIM) • Ministry of Health (MOH) • Chemical Industries Council of Malaysia (CICM) The International Conference on Water and Wastewater Management (ICWWM) is a major international conference covering all issues related to water usage and management. It aims to address issues pertinent to potable water supply and management, technology and innovation in water treatment and puri cation, water quality, pollution management, recycling and reuse of wastewater, and the impacts of climate change. The topics covered under ICWWM 2013 included: Integrated Water Resources Management; Water Quality and Pollution Management; Advances in Water Treatment Technologies; Stormwater and Wastewater Management and Usage; Climate Change and Its Impact on Water Resources; and Socio-Economic Aspects of Water Management. The conference provided an ideal means of assessing the current state of research associated with water issues in Malaysia and how these issues resonate with those in other locations. There were many similarities with issues found throughout the world, where increasing population, rapid industrial development, changes in land use patterns, environmental pollution, impacts of climate change, and the availability and supply of clean, safe water have become of major concern to the global community. Malaysia is also faced with issues related to water resource management, wastewater reuse and ensuring the supply of clean, safe water to meet the increasing demands of a rapidly industrialising nation. DAY ONE "Water is fast becoming a major global issue for several reasons," said Datuk Dr Soon Ting Kueh, Conference Chairman and President, Institute Kimia Malaysia. "An increasing world population means a greater demand for potable water, and water for agriculture, food production, industrial development and sanitation. On the other hand, deforestation, changes in land use patterns and environmental pollution have resulted in the decrease in fresh water resources and supply. All these, coupled with the impacts of climate change, have made the availability and supply of clean and safe water a major concern to the global community. In the coming decades, it is also possible that water may be a cause of con ict among nations as a result of disputes over fresh water resources". These sentiments were also re ected in the opening plenary lecture on 'Strategies to Address the Water Challenges of the Next Millennium' (McCafferty). Ir. Ahmad Jamalluddin Shaaban from the Research Centre for Water Resources, Malaysia, spoke about 'Climate Change and its Impact on Malaysian Water Resources'. However, predicted impacts of climate change on water resources of Sabah and Sarawak vary with the regional geography of the watershed and seasonal changes. The effects of water pollution will be heightened through both ood and drought cycles subsequently modifying the quality of waters in rivers, lakes, wetlands and coastal waters. Dr Shane Snyder, College of Engineering at the University of Arizona and Co-Director of the Arizona Laboratory for Emerging Contaminants, discussed 'Emerging Contaminants: Trends in Treatment, Monitoring and Health Assessment'. Dr Snyder is also a visiting professor at the National University of Singapore. In his plenary lecture Dr Snyder spoke of recent advances in genomics, proteomics and metabolomics that have led to major discoveries and allow biological characterisation of complex aqueous mixtures using in vitro and rapid in vivo bioassays. In tandem, these techniques are powerful tools that can detect essentially any environmental contaminant at concentrations often less than 1 ng/L. This bioanalytical approach also provides for comprehensive screening of complex contaminant mixtures to determine the cumulative potential for human and environmental health impacts and for the identi cation of culpable substances. Thus, a new paradigm may be needed whereby rapid biological screening is coupled to advanced analytical techniques to characterise water through assessment of mixture impact rather than through discrete chemical analysis. Tan Sri Dato' Ir. Shahrizaila Abdullah, a Senior Fellow of the Academy of Sciences, Malaysia, initiated and led the Sustainable Water Management Program at the Academy from 2006 until mid- 2013. His research at the International Water Resources Management (IWRM) Institute provided him with the credentials to discuss 'IWRM and the Transformation of Water Supply and Wastewater Management Services -- a Malaysian Road Map'. He described a situation whereby human overuse of water resources and diffuse contamination of freshwater are stressing the water resources in the terrestrial water cycle. As a consequence, the ecological functions of water bodies, soils and groundwater in the water cycle are hampered and being further impacted by threats from impending climate change. A holistic, systemic approach relying on Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) must replace the fragmentation that currently exists. 28 Conference Report Conference delegates (from left) Mr Wong Kok Fah (Director of Environmental Health, KIMIA), Peter McCafferty (ChemCentre) and Mr Ahmad Lat bin Mahmud (KIMIA).
Water Journal December 2013
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