Hema • 2 mins
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Linggiu Reservoir, which regulates the flow of the Johor River, fell to a historic low of 20% of its capacity in Oct 2016.
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.
Bedok NEWater Factory
The first NEWater plants at Bedok and Kranji were commissioned back in 2002. Bedok NEWater Factory also has a visitor centre which offers educational tours to the public on the NEWater treatment process and Singapore’s water sustainability.
Kranji NEWater Factory
The Kranji NEWater Factory is located next to Kranji Water Reclamation Plant.
Keppel Seghers Ulu Pandan NEWater Plant
In 2007, the Keppel Seghers Ulu Pandan NEWater Plant was opened. Unlike the earlier facilities, this was the first NEWater plant to be designed, built, owned and operated by the private sector.
Sembcorp NEWater Plant (Changi)
Opened in 2010, the Sembcorp NEWater Plant at Changi has a production capacity of 50mgd. It is housed on top of the PUB-owned Changi Water Reclamation Plant.
BEWG-UESH NEWater plant (Changi)
Also housed on top of the PUB-owned Changi Water Reclamation Plant, the BEWG-UESH NEWater Plant spans 49,000 sqm or 7.5 football fields. It is able to produce 50 mgd of NEWater a day – enough water to fill 92 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
NEWater can meet up to 40% of our current water needs.
NEWater has passed over 150,000 scientific tests. It meets and surpasses WHO and USEPA standards for drinking 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 can meet up to 25% of Singapore's water demand.
Desalination is the most energy-intensive of the four taps. This makes desalinated water the most costly to produce.
A dry day in the life of Kong-Kong & his family as they discover how water is so precious.