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Past Challenges


The PUB Global Innovation Challenge was first launched in Sep 2020.

Over the past 2 editions, we explored challenges that across three key focus areas : Sensor & Monitoring Systems and Automation & Robotics, as well as on Coastal Protection Measures.

Sensors & Monitoring Systems

Singapore uses 430 million gallons of water every day, and PUB is responsible for making sure this water is safe to use and adequately supplied. To enhance its oversight and control of the entire national water system, PUB has a multitude of sensors and monitoring systems installed all across the water loop.

With numerous sensors it may be possible to develop intelligent systems that help verify and validate sensor readings to ensure that water plants will always have the most accurate information of its water systems. Such systems can also pin-point potential issues with sensors at the earliest possible opportunity.

Beyond the traditional sensors measuring established physical, chemical and biological parameters in water, PUB is expanding its library of sensor platforms to include newer and more challenging indicators of water monitoring, such as taste and odour detection at low concentrations in real time.

Sensors are also used for process control. One area for significant innovation is in the autonomous control of coagulation dosing due to fluctuating raw water quality. A solution capable of real time assessment of water quality to determine the amount of coagulation dosage could provide significant savings in terms of amount of chemicals that are used and ensure better water quality.

Sensor Data Integrity Monitoring

Seamless Coagulation Control

Real-time Detection of Taste and Odour Compounds in Water

Cost-Effective Rainfall Monitoring

Real-time Identification of Prohibited Organic Compounds in Sewers

Automation and Robotics

Automation and robotics are the key to sustaining future operations with a shrinking but highly skilled workforce. PUB is actively sourcing for innovations in automation that can reduce manual and repetitive work. To this end PUB is looking to automate routine tasks such as evaluating earth control measure submissions from industry as well the identification and counting of midge species at our reservoirs. These tasks are currently carried out manually and through automation we aim to reap the benefits of higher accuracy and to free up manpower to focus on other issues.

Another key area of innovation is in the application of robotic systems within the water loop. For this challenge we are sourcing for robotic systems that can replace the manual task of tank washing within our facilities.

Automated Earth Control Measure Submission Evaluator

Automated Identification and Enumeration of Midge Populations

Robotics for Water Tank Cleaning

Mapping of Underground Utilities

Coastal Protection Measures

Since 1 April 2020, PUB had assume an additional role as the nation's Coastal Protection Agency, safeguarding Singapore's coastline against the threat of rising sea levels. As a low-lying island, Singapore is particularly susceptible to the threat of rising sea levels. 

At present, about 70% of Singapore's coastline is protected from erosion by waves and storms, using structures such as concrete seawalls and stone revetments. The rest of the coast consists of natural areas such as beaches and mangroves. 

PUB is interested in solutions that can protect our coastlines from rising sea levels as well as erosion by waves and storms, and reduce the landtake for such measures without compromising on structural stability. We are also keen to explore innovation in material science and construction engineering that allow for incremental enhancements of the coastal protection measures. 

We are also open to explore innovative techniques that incorporates nature or urban landscape features into our coastal protection measures. Nature-based solutions complementing traditional engineering structures could allow us to protect and improve the natural environment and biodiversity while urban landscape features could be functional for local residents and help justify the cost required.

Innovative Solutions for Coastal Protection