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Dealing with Water Challenges or Forget about Growth

Organised by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, Meinhardt Group CEO, Omar Shahzad was one of the invited speakers at the third Growth Net Conference hosted in New Delhi from March 25 to 27, 2015. The conference was attended by various government leaders and leading entrepreneurs from India and abroad.

Omar spoke on the topic of “Dealing with Water Challenges or Forget about Growth”. In his remarks, Omar also emphasised on the importance of long-term planning and efficient design which can help to optimise construction cost and buildability, especially in highly urbanised environments. Good engineering also requires review on how to optimise lifecycle costs. He also mentioned Asia especially Indian Sub-Continent lies in the highly water-stressed region and underscored the role engineers will have to play an important role in addressing these challenges timely and efficiently.

Omar also gave an insight on various innovative engineering solutions that have been implemented in Singapore over time to address their water challenges such as Deep Tunnel Sewerage System, Marina Barrage and Common Services Tunnel in downtown areas. He also mentioned the importance of robust metering, best practices and pricing methods which reflect the cost of water production and its scarcity value. Government has to also play an enabling role in order to attract private sector capital to support today’s water challenges.

Omar mentioned that India has huge water and waste-water investment requirements and firms such as Meinhardt which have the world-class technical expertise and considerable local experience can assist in implementing innovative solutions that will enable India to adopt best practices from around the globe.