Hema • 2 mins

Singaporeans today enjoy quality drinking water at a turn of the tap, but this didn’t happen by chance.

Our Four National Taps

Did you know?

In 2015, it cost $1.3 billion to operate our water system. This is almost three times more than in 2000.

From 2000 to 2015, PUB invested $7 billion in our water infrastructure. In the next five years, it will invest a further $4 billion.

1. Local Catchments

Two-thirds of Singapore’s land area is used for water catchment. Increasing the water catchment area will be challenging and costly given our urban density.

A comprehensive network of drains, canals and rivers channel rainfall to Singapore’s 17 reservoirs for storage.

Click on image to see process


Did you know?

Singapore is one of the few countries in the world to harvest urban stormwater on a large scale for consumption. Compared to pristine freshwater sources, urban stormwater is harder to purify.

2. Imported Water

Singapore imports water from Malaysia under the 1962 Water Agreement, which allows us the full and exclusive right to draw up to 250 million gallons of water per day (mgd) from the Johor River. The Agreement will expire in 2061.

The 1962 Water Agreement
was guaranteed by the Government of Malaysia in the Separation Agreement signed in 1965 that established Singapore as an independent and sovereign state. The guarantee was also enacted into the Malaysian Constitution by an Act of Parliament. The Separation Agreement was registered with the United Nations.

Did you know?

The Linggiu Reservoir, which regulates the flow of the Johor River, fell to a historic low of 20% of its capacity in Oct 2016.

3. NEWater

Singapore has 5 NEWater plants which further purify treated used water to produce ultra-clean water. This process requires the use of advanced membrane and ultraviolet disinfection technologies, which makes producing NEWater costly.

NEWater can meet up to 40% of our current water needs.

Click on image to see process


Did you know?

NEWater has passed over 150,000 scientific tests. It meets and surpasses WHO and USEPA standards for drinking water.

4. Desalinated Water

Desalination is the process of using reverse osmosis to produce pure drinking water, by pushing seawater through membranes to remove dissolved salts and minerals.

We currently have 2 desalination plants, and 3 new plants will be built by 2020.

Desalination Plant

  • Built in 2005
  • Singapore’s first seawater reverse osmosis facility

Desalination Plant

  • Completed in 2013
  • One of the largest desalination plants in Southeast Asia

Tuas Desalination

  • Expected to be completed by end 2017
  • Third desalination plant in Tuas

Keppel Marina East
Desalination Plant

  • Expected to be ready by 2020
  • Probably the world’s first large-scale plant that can treat both sea and fresh water

Desalination Plant

  • Expected to be ready by 2020
  • Fifth desalination plant, to be located on Jurong island

Desalination can meet up to 25% of Singapore's water demand.

Click on image to see process


Did you know?

Desalination is the most energy-intensive of the four taps. This makes desalinated water the most costly to produce.

Getting clean drinking water to our homes is far more intricate than a mere turn of the tap. Find out more about the 3 Cs of our 4 taps.

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Quiz: What's your water personality?

How do you wash your face?

  1. In the shower
  2. By splashing water like models do in commercials
  3. At the sink with the tap turned off while soaping

When brushing your teeth, do you

  1. Leave the tap water running
  2. Use a cup
  3. Do it in the shower

How long are your showers?

  1. 5 minutes or less - time is money
  2. 10 - 20 minutes - just enough to make shampoo animal sculptures
  3. 30+ minutes - I cherish my me-time

How do you flush liquid waste?

  1. Full-flush
  2. Half-flush
  3. Flush?

How long does it take you to wash your hands?

  1. 10 seconds - I dip in and out in a flash
  2. 20 seconds - enough to quickly sing the alphabet song
  3. 30 seconds or more - till my fingers wrinkle

How often do you do laundry?

  1. When I have a full load
  2. When I have half a load
  3. Whenever I have one piece of dirty laundry

If you have plants, how do you water them?

  1. With fresh tap water every time
  2. With water saved from rinsing rice
  3. I don’t keep plants

If your tap is leaking slightly, do you

  1. Call a plumber right away
  2. Wait until you have free time to worry about it
  3. Leak? Oh yeah, almost forgot! Hope my house isn’t flooding...

Water-saving tips:

Monitor your water bills
Check your water bills to monitor your family's water consumption. Is it more than the national average amount? If so, re-look your family's water usage habits.
Take shorter showers
Remember to keep showers under 5 minutes, and turn off the tap while soaping.
Wash in a filled sink
Wash vegetables or dishes in a filled sink/container, and not under a running tap.
Don't let water rush when you brush
Turn off the faucet until it's time to rinse. This can save 6 litres of water per minute!
Wash on a full load
Run the washing machine only on a full load. It's not worth it to use a lot of water on a small load of clothes. Alternatively, you can set it to "Quick wash" if it's a small load.
Reuse rinse water
Reuse rinse water from the washing machine for flushing toilets or mopping floors.
Repair leaks promptly
Prevent water wastage by repairing leaks or dripping taps promptly.
Choose to use reduced flush
When flushing toilet, choose reduced flush for liquid waste. We save water when we aren't full-flushing every time we get done with No. 1.

Bruce Lee said: Be like water, my friend.
We say: Save water, my friend.

Singapore's water story in 2 minutes

A dry day in the life of Kong-Kong & his family as they discover how water is so precious.