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Malaysian Delegates Learn Water Practices from Ontario

By Todd Westcott 10:44AM October 09, 2018

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A delegation from the State of Sarawak, Malaysia visited Ontario last week, engaging with the University of Waterloo’s the Water Institute, as part of its efforts to support work routing water from its remote regions into its cities.

To support the initiative, the delegation of officials, headed by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg, consulted Canadian water experts on leading-edge practices and emerging technologies.

Opening remarks from the Chief Minister of Sarawak (centre). Image and caption credit: The Water Institute.

“The things learned during the trip would be useful input in Sarawak’s desire to formulate a water policy and water legislation in order to turn water into a precious economic asset,” said the office of the Chief Minister to the Malay Mail.

From the October 1st meeting with the Water Institute, a solid base for future collaboration between the State and Institute researchers was established.

The 27 delegates assembled at the University of Waterloo for a half-day water research showcase tailored to the unique challenges facing the State. Interest was shown in particular to Water Institute expertise in water resource management and emerging technologies that can sustainably provide long-term clean and potable water.

“The Ontario water legislation had also provided a clear picture of what came under federal and provincial jurisdiction in Canada in the governance of the extensive system of water bodies in the country, including the Great Lakes,” said the Chief Minister’s office.

The following professors presented their innovations with the goal of sparking future dialogue and partnerships:

  • Enhancing the robustness of water supply systems by Peter Huck
  • Sustainable nanomaterials for water and wastewater treatment applications by Michael Tam
  • DNA biosenors for metals detection by Juewen Liu
  • Minimizing non-revenue water loss and asset management using smart sensors by Sriram Narasimham
  • Trenchless technologies; buried infrastructure asset management by Mark Knight
  • Failure and reliability analysis of water storage and distribution systems using artificial intelligence by Kumaraswamy Ponnambalam
  • Water and wellbeing by Susan Elliott
  • Water pricing by Roy Brouwer
The Water Institute’s executive director Roy Brouwer receives a memento from Sarawak. Image and caption credit: The Water Institute.

In the coming year, the Water Institute that collaborations will continue to be explored in water resources management research, education, and capacity building between the Institute and Sarawak’s rural water supply department, Sarawak Energy, and their academic institutions.

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