Select Committee on Science and Technology Minutes of Evidence


Examination of Witnesses (Questions 440-441)

9 JUNE 2004

MR PETER CAMERON, DR ANDREW COTTON AND PROFESSOR JOHN O'REILLY

  Q440 Chairman: One, I would imagine. Andrew, do you want to comment on sustainability?

  Dr Cotton: Sustainability of the MDGs, if you are looking in terms of the timeframe of it, no. If you are looking in terms of moving in that general direction, I think then the role of the engineer and the role of technology, the responsibility of that, is to ensure that the systems we put in—and again this can be very, very simple in water supply terms—are sustainable systems. Operation and maintenance, for example, and financing of operation and maintenance, can be dealt with locally.

  Q441 Chairman: John, would you like to go on the record on this?

  Professor O'Reilly: Yes, I would. Just picking up on what has been said, I think it is important that there is a continuum in terms of this sustainability. So what has been said about maintenance, and also driving up the professional confidence and so on, and at the very top end of that for the longer term. That is where the comments I made at the beginning are particularly relevant, which is making sure that there are ways in which people can develop in countries, can be trained to the highest level, such that there is a long-term sustainability issue. That is where I said coupling with, for example the Master programmes and so on and scholarships for that is a positive development in that direction.

  Chairman: Could I thank you very much indeed on behalf of the Committee for helping us with our inquiry. You have added some interesting dimensions to it. Thank you very much indeed.


 
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