|Officials from other countries learn techniques for checking water leaks during a training program of K-water at the corporation's facility in Daejeon, in this September photo. / Courtesy of K-water|
By Kim Jae-heun
Water is an important resource not just in daily life but also for a nation's economic development, and improving water-related infrastructure and fostering experts in the sector are key to its effective management.
The Korea Water Resources Corp., better known as K-water, said Wednesday it has been sharing its skills and knowhow in water management with developing countries.
In 1982, K-water established a human resource development institute and has operated education programs taught by its 1,400 experts to an average of 40,000 local and foreign officials in related professions every year.
The corporation's education and training programs on water management technology and business administration have attracted 2,600 people from 97 countries since 1997.
Its programs are devised in cooperation with the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and international organizations such as the World Bank and UNESCO, to offer courses tailored to meet different countries' unique needs.
In March, the corporation signed a memorandum of understanding with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to exchange educational courses and personnel, aiming to promote cooperation with international organizations in Asia.
It also held a meeting with ADB and Dhaka Water Supply & Sewerage Authority in Bangladesh to support establishment of an education and research center in Bangladesh's capital city, Dhaka.
In April, K-water invited Danish Ambassador to Korea Thomas Lehmann to its water management facilities and sought cooperation with Denmark in water management systems.
"I learned techniques related to water resources and observed Korea's excellent water management facilities during the field trip," El Yazid, vice director of the Algerian Ministry of Water Resources who also took part in a program in April, was quoted as saying by the corporation.
"When I return home, I want to share Korea's water management skills to improve the water resources facilities there."
Based on its 20 years of experience, K-water developed a "flagship course" comprised of education and training for techniques that are generally required for improving water management in developing countries, with the participants receiving field training at the corporation's various facilities.
In September, 18 foreign officials took a course on water loss induction, and 42 people from three countries will take three courses this year on the same topic and water resources development and supply management.
"As climate change brings serious problems worldwide including disasters related to water, we have to cooperate and prepare for them. In this sense, sharing skills and knowhow in water management is essential," said Kang Woo-kyu, director general of K-water Academy.