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World Water Day 2021: Stories from Water Professionals

Posted on March 2021 By LVI Associates

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March 22 is World Water Day. This is an annual UN observance day that highlights the importance of freshwater.

At LVI Associates, we work closely every day with organisations and professionals that make an impact in the water world. Today, we have invited them to share their stories with us. What is their passion for the water industry? How have they impacted the water industry? Let's find out.

Vishal Sharma
Senior Vice President - India, Middle East and Africa
Ecolab Inc.
Koh Chong Hin
Managing Director - South East Asia
Xylem
Rasitha Perera
Senior Flood and Software Engineer
RTP Consulting
Sami Ullah Chaudhry
Senior Process Engineer
Energy Resources of Australia
David Heape
Principal Wastewater Engineer
Kim Seon
Regional Business Developer
KSB

What Does Water Mean To You?

Join our conversation on social media. Tell us what does water mean to you.

How Can You Make An Impact?

Here are five water actions you can take:

We are Making an Impact

At LVI Associates, our specialist recruiters in the water team focus on hiring business-critical water talent for companies. In this niche-talent pool industry, our mission is to help our client to find this unique talent to fill the gap so that the bigger projects can go on as a plan to change the world.

We are also playing a large part in helping the Water sector grow and be recognised. We take on the responsibility to market and advertise the Water sector to make people aware of the opportunities that are available within it.

We are keen to share more on how we help businesses to tackle their talent needs.

Contact Us

Click here to see how we celebrate World Water Day last year.

Rasitha Perera

Senior Flood and Software Engineer

RTP Consulting

"I bridge gaps by finding ways and means to disseminate flood data to a wider audience, and I'm turning to technological advances in computing and innovation for the answers."

In 2011, the cities of Brisbane and Ipswich experienced a major flood event that devastated their communities. While the mighty Bremer and Brisbane rivers engulfed 100-year-old Gum trees that once stood tall on the river banks, coincident flash floods overwhelmed trunk stormwater networks and affected homes and businesses in populated areas. Needless to say, many were forced to seek shelter in emergency evacuation centres for more than just a couple of days.

Among its many devastating impacts, the flood event unleashed an onslaught of uncertainty!. During disaster recovery and mitigation efforts, many property owners were left with a choice: to rebuild or abandon. They considered — does our insurer cover our property for floods, are there federal grants and loans available, how vulnerable is our property to another significant weather event, will our property be affected by Climate Change. Ultimately, this decision was informed by understanding future risks and tools available to mitigate such challenges. True to their Aussie spirit, many began rebuilding and are thriving once again.

Over the ensuing decade, I worked on various parts of the design lifecycle from subdivision master planning through to stormwater network-augmentations and detailed flood mitigation designs. My fellow Water Resources Engineers and I provided high-quality design data, increased flood awareness, and facilitated local mitigation actions to reduce flood hazards within the community. A fundamental challenge that persists, however, isn’t the quality of the data, but property owners’ and stakeholders’ understanding and access to credible, actionable information. Hence these days I'm working to bridge this gap by finding ways and means to disseminate flood intelligence data to a wider audience, and I'm turning to technological advances in computing and an innovative mindset for the answers.

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Koh Chong Hin

Managing Director - South East Asia

Xylem

"We actively support our Xylem Watermark CSR program to provide education and access to safe water to communities around the world."

Water is essential for life – what better industry can we be in right now where we can solve challenges that have a direct impact on the sustainability of our world communities? Besides serving our customers’ needs, my colleagues and I actively support our Xylem Watermark CSR program to provide education and access to safe water to communities around the world, especially those affected by natural disasters. This brings alive our mission to solve water. ​

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Vishal Sharma

Senior Vice President - India, Middle East and Africa

Ecolab Inc.

“Everything we do at Ecolab has an impact on reducing water…in power plants, in steel and paper mills, in hotels and hospitals, in auto factories…Nothing has more impact than preserving this precious resource.”

Water is the critical lifeblood for our planet which future generations will need as much as need today. And it is a limited resource that is rapidly running out. Each one of us needs to do everything in our power and capability to contribute to water usage reduction, reuse and recycling. We have a ticking time bomb on our hands and only we can defuse it with our actions, both in our personal and professional lives.​

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Sami Ullah Chaudhry

Senior Process Engineer, Water Treatment and Tailings

Energy Resources of Australia (Rio Tinto)

"I am passionate about the water treatment industry because I believe that mindful and optimised use of water is the way to ensure a sustainable future for the process industry and general community globally."

In my 16 years of a professional career, one of the very challenging tasks I have accomplished was identifying suitable sources of water for a massive power facility in the middle of the desert to ensure a lifetime supply of raw water for the 600-1200 MW power plant, engage government agencies to partner and tap into natural/man-made water sources. It is where I learnt that finding synergies in parallel projects is one important factor for fulfilling and optimising the water demands of any project.

While working on the identification of possible water sources, we found that the primary source of water can be the abundant de-watering water extracted from the open-pit coal mine which was being developed to feed coal to a power plant, the second possible source was from a brackish water canal running about 55 km away and the tertiary possible source was from a river canal about 100 km away from which government was going to extract a canal to pass nearby the coal mine site.

Water from the mine dewatering project was within the jurisdiction of the power plant project developer and the preferred choice, however, to cover future demand of the envisaged > 4000 MW capacity, the mine dewatering water was not enough and other water sources had also to be developed in parallel for which a strategic partnership with provincial government was established to develop the saline canal and surface water canal water supply sources.

I have also recently worked on a project which brought down the treatment cost of the thermal evaporating unit through installation of enhanced waste heat recovery steam generation system, steam generation system optimisation and reduction of acid dosing for pH control of feed water. This would save > AU$ 9 Million for the project in the remaining 5 years of operating life.

I am passionate about the water treatment industry because I believe that mindful and optimised use of water is the way to ensure a sustainable future for the process industry and general community globally. Especially water treatment methods that are energy-intensive have huge potential for improvement and I wish to work further in the field of energy optimisation in Water Treatment systems.

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David Heape

Principal Wastewater Engineer

"I am constantly amazed that such a small group of people can achieve so much, so silently, so efficiently without fanfare that almost no one knows what we do."

Being part of a small team that moves and disposes of 26,000 tons of material per day (think a cruise ship) over a 1000km footprint 24 hrs a day 7 days a week with no service interruptions – with a service standard so high that no one hears us take the waste from their neighbours at 2 am is truly inspiring. Further, the team saves more lives per year than a large hospital (go to a 3rd world country without clean water and sewer to find out) and is one of the only profitable units in the organisation. I am constantly amazed that such a small group of people can achieve so much, so silently, so efficiently without fanfare that almost no one knows what we do.

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Kim Seon

Regional Business Developer

KSB

As a water solution provider, KSB continuously plays an essential role in improving the health and safety of the people in emerging nations by enhancing the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation. A huge mass of the population in the region still has no access to pipe-borne water. A water professionals have so much more to do in the region and beyond!

As a water solution provider, KSB continuously plays an essential role in improving the health and safety of the people in emerging nations by enhancing the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation. Learning about how so many people are socially benefiting from our solutions and services motivates me to dive deeper into various water-related problems in the region.

Many places in the region lack urbanised infrastructures for proper drainage, flood control and water treatment systems. International supports are often sought for the development. The executions of foreign-aided international projects are heavily affected by the lack of proper planning, insufficient funding, political instability, limited awareness and differences in country-specific design and technical requirements. Some projects can take longer than a decade to be actualised.

The recent success of the Ambatale Water Supply Systems Improvement and Energy Saving Project (AWSSIESP) in Sri Lanka took us about ten years of intensive and continuous learning and relearning of everchanging conditions. The project is part of the Greater Colombo Water and Wastewater Management Improvement Investment Programme which was established to provide uninterrupted water supply and sanitation facilities in the Greater Colombo area to improve wastewater disposal for the 838,000 inhabitants living in the city centre and the outskirts of Colombo.

A huge mass of the population in the region still has no access to pipe-borne water. As water professionals, we have so much more to do in the region and beyond! Let’s keep diving!

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