Singapore is a small island with a population of 4.6 million and has a limited source of potable water. Approximately 52% of the water the country consumes is imported from Malaysia and other neighbouring countries. Even though, Singapore has constantly made efforts to achieve water independence, the growing water shortage and rising water demand, there was an urgent need to look for an alternative.
Singapore invested into hard-core research in order to make the country more self-reliant in terms of water supplies. To secure sustainable water for the future, Singapore developed technology which would meet their requirement of ever rising demand for clean water.
Singapore’s NEWater, the brand name of reclaimed water produced, is the perfect example of the dedication and commitment of the Singapore Public Utility Board (PUB) towards finding alternative sources to suffice the country’s water shortage.
The efforts to tap into recycling water started off as early as 1974. However, this, due to concerns over the reliability and cost of the program were put to an abrupt end, only to be reinstated in 1998. After the pilot plant for reclaiming water was set up, an extensive study was carried out to study the effects of NEWater consumption on mice and fishes. Although, no effects were observed for over 200 parameters tested, NEWater was released for non-potable use. The island of Singapore, as mentioned earlier relies greatly on Malaysia for their water supply. This huge demand of water has lead to a lot of friction between the countries. With the introduction of NEWater the Public Utility Board of Singapore has managed to ease the increasing demand for water within the country.