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19 July 2019

First Youth Symposium on Sustainable Water Future

Turn on a tap, and clean water flows out, as much as we want, anytime we want. It is easy to forget that Singapore’s journey to provide secure and sustainable water did not come easy. As a country with no natural water resources and limited land to catch and store rainwater, it is important that we do not take our water for granted, and we continue to educate our young to cherish and value this precious resource.

On 10 July 2019, over 200 students from 11 secondary schools, junior colleges and polytechnics participated in the Singapore Youth Water Conference (SYWC). Organised by Raffles Institution and supported by PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency, this inaugural conference aims to create a deeper awareness and knowledge of water security and sustainability issues among our youths.

The Conference kicked off with keynote speeches by Mr Ng Joo Hee, Chief Executive of PUB and Professor Asit K. Biswas, Distinguished Visiting Professor, University of Glasgow, followed by a dialogue session. Mr Ng impressed upon the students that total water demand is projected to double from the current 430 million gallons of water per day by 2061, and that is water that we do not have today. As such, we need to find alternative sources of water, such as the sewers (water reclamation) and the sea (desalination).

“First of all, we have to maximise our yield, we strive to collect every drop of water that falls on Singapore. Second, we have to think of water as an endlessly reusable resource. Water can always be reclaimed and retreated so that it can be drunk again. Today, we are able to literally turn dirty toilet water into sweet water. Third, because Singapore is surrounded by the sea, we can desalinate salty seawater and make it drinkable.”


Keynote address by Mr Ng Joon Hee, Chief Executive of PUB

Professor Asit K. Biswas, Distinguished Visiting Professor, University of Glasgow, gave an overview of the global water situation and shared how Cambodia, China and India dealt with their respective water challenges. He also cited Singapore as one of the leaders in urban water management.

Professor Asit noted that many countries lacked sufficient water for drinking, agriculture and industrial development due to lack of proper water management. To that end, political will and sustained public action are important in ensuring water resilience and sustainability.

“The world does not have a water problem; it has a water management problem,” he said.

The students had an engaging and candid dialogue session with the panellists, who were experts in their respective water-related fields, such as policy, governance, advocacy and business, on the issue that is close to everyone’s hearts – will we ever run out of water? Participants raised questions and shared their thoughts on water security, ways to reduce water consumption, water price and many others.


Students sharing their thoughts on water sustainability at the Singapore Water Youth Conference 2019


Panel members at the Singapore Youth Water Conference. ​From left: Mr Eugene Heng, CEO, Waterway Watch Society; Mr Charles Quek, Vice-President of Singapore Water Association, CEO of HSL Constructor Pte Ltd; Professor Asit K. Biswas, Distinguished Visiting Professor, University of Glasgow; Mr Ng Joo Hee, Chief Executive of PUB and Dr Cecilia Tortajada, Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Water Policy, Lee Kuan Yew School.

Students showcase water-related projects at school exhibition

The conference also saw the showcase of innovative projects undertaken by the students to explore new solutions to water challenges and sharing of water conservation messages.

For example, one team from Raffles Institution looked into the water retention capacities of environmentally-friendly hydrogels, and it effectiveness in removing common pollutants in stormwater. Such hydrogels can be used in rain gardens and green roofs to manage stormwater runoff. A different team looked into the problem of textile industries causing water pollution by discharging wastewater with large amounts of textile dyes in the sea. They explored the effectiveness of the enzyme laccase (found in oyster mushrooms) to treat wastewater by degrading textile dyes.

Another team from Nanyang Polytechnic developed an educational card game to educate players on the water treatment process in Singapore. By understanding the challenges faced in the production of clean drinking water, these students hope to encourage players to take positive actions in water conservation after playing the game.


SYWC - Students sharing school projects 2 

Student from various schools sharing their projects with the participants of the conference.

On a whole, the students and panellists had a fruitful discussion and sharing of thoughts on the future of water at the Singapore Youth Water Conference. When asked about the key takeaway from the conference, one student shared that she now recognises how valuable water is, and the importance of sustainable water management not just for Singapore, but for the entire world.

Let us all work together to ensure that we will always have enough water and no one will ever have to go thirsty.

By Goh Xin Ying, 3P Network Department

21 June 2019

Singapore Junior Water Prize (SJWP) 2019

Ever heard of the Singapore Junior Water Prize? This local competition held annually in Singapore gathers creative young minds to come up with innovative water solutions, raise awareness and interest in water and environmental issues. The winning team of the national competition stands a chance to vie for the international Stockholm Junior Water Prize in Sweden – and represent Singapore on this prestigious platform!

Since its inception in 2008, the competition is in its 12th year run which has seen Singapore bag two victories at the Sweden competition in 2012 and 2018. This year, the national competition has received over 30 team entries and is proud to have Wang Haiyi – the winner of SJWP from National Junior College (NJC), to represent Singapore in Sweden this coming August.

“I feel honoured that I am able to represent Singapore to present my work. Looking back, it was a journey filled with uncertainties and challenges and I am truly grateful for constant help and invaluable advice from my mentor Dr Ren Yi from IMRE, A*STAR and my teacher advisor Dr Adrian Loh from NJC.”


Wang Haiyi from NJC, the winner of SJWP, with Dr Koh Tse Yuen, Deputy Director (Student Development) from Ngee Ann Polytechnic

Haiyi came up with a simple, yet novel idea to improve the regeneration process of absorbents in wastewater treatment. There has been intensive research on developing more efficient absorbents, but an apparent lack in reusing these absorbents for a more feasible and sustainable approach.  

“Sadly, there hasn't been much focus on reusing the exhausted adsorbent. This does not solve the problem at all as the pollutants are merely changed from liquid to solid phase. Therefore, I decided to embark on the journey of developing effective ways to reuse it.”


Wang Haiyi, presenting her project to the SJWP National Jury.

When asked how Dr Ren Yi, A*STAR’s Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (Haiyi’s mentor) felt about her achievements:

“With little reference from literature, working on new regeneration processes for emerging adsorbent technology is challenging. Haiyi has planned it well. On one hand, she explored variables that could affect the novel electrochemical regeneration, and on the other hand, she studied and optimised the application of conventional thermal process for regeneration as a backup plan…she has overcome many difficulties in the project and her hard work led to the positive data in the development of the proposed technology. I am very proud of her achievement.”

The national competition also saw other interesting and notable ideas presented:





Students from various schools presenting their projects to the SJWP National Jury.

One team from ITE College East, noticed how most people have the wrong perception about the amount of ice cubes necessary to turn a beverage icy-cold. Their project titled ‘How Cold is Enough? Reduce Waste, Save Water, Energy and Money’ looks into how ice cubes often go to waste due to non-consumption and tries to determine the minimum amount of ice cubes needed to achieve acceptable coldness levels – which is usually lesser than perceived. 


Students Zhi Teng and Nur Shafiqah from ITE College East, whose project clinched Merit Prize at this year’s SJWP.

The Stockholm Junior Water Prize 2019 will be taking place in Sweden this coming August, which will be graced by Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden. Here’s wishing Haiyi all the best and we look forward to her competing meaningfully at an international level!

The Singapore Junior Water Prize is organised by the Lien Foundation, Sembcorp Industries and Ngee Ann Polytechnic, supported by PUB. Hop over here to find out more.

By Siow Ting Fong

17 May 2019
3 April 2019

It’s Cool To Be Blue

What a water-ful month!

What did Gardens By The Bay, Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park and the Singapore Flyer share in common on 22 March? Along with over 20 recognisable landmarks across the island, they were enveloped in a brilliant blue hue as PUB concluded our annual Singapore World Water Day celebrations with a blue bonanza.

Its Cool To Be Blue  

At the first ever GoBlue4SG carnival held at Marina Barrage, a crowd of more than 3,500 people dressed in blue were serenaded by local acts Joanna Dong, Tay Kewei and 53A. Food trucks, gaming booths and an energetic dance parade featuring a bevy of Water Wally mascots kept up the excitement levels before the carnival finale – a three-minute fireworks display followed by a movie screening under the stars.

Its Cool To Be Blue  

Its Cool To Be Blue  

Besides the closing carnival, a range of activities were held throughout the month of March to encourage Singaporeans to do their part to save water. Many of our community partners came on board to show their support towards the water cause by participating in the Walk for Water, each clocking a mileage of approximately 2.4km along the scenic Marina Bay waterfront. Several community-led partner booths were also set up at the Marina Barrage, showcasing the water conservation efforts that they have done collectively as a school or company.

Its Cool To Be Blue  

From 1 – 31 March, glass shards lining Orchard Road from ION Orchard to Mandarin Gallery were beautifully decorated with artworks created by a group of community artists for PUB’s My Take On Water initiative. These artworks represent their expressions on water, as well as their hope for Singapore’s future of water. There were also interactive pop-up booths set up along Orchard Road where the public were encouraged to pledge their commitment to save water, and in return get a chance to win water wally merchandises at PUB’s very own claw machine.

Its Cool To Be Blue  

Of course not forgetting our community partners, who have shown great support to this water cause by organising over 100 water rationing exercises, forming water droplets, providing exclusive deals in line with the GoBlue4SG movement, and even lighting up buildings and bridges in blue! Thank you for doing your part to spread the water conservation message, and rallying the public to be part of it as well.

Its Cool To Be Blue  

Singapore World Water Day 2019 would not have been possible without everyone’s support. We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who has participated in this cause in some way or another. But this is not the end as PUB’s water conservation campaign continues to run throughout the year, so keep your eyes peeled and stay tuned for further updates on PUB’s social media platforms!

Remember, the journey to produce clean, wholesome water does not come easy, so let us all do our part to save water and make every drop count!

20 March 2019

Community Partners Doing Their Part for GoBlue4SG Movement

We have seen amazing ground up efforts from our community partners supporting the GoBlue4SG movement and water cause thus far, with several partners conducting activities such as water rationing exercises, forming water droplets and offering blue deals. There have also been several roadshows held across the island as well, encouraging the public to pledge to save water and make every drop count.

How many people does it take to form a giant blue water droplet? Just ask these adorable kids from Sengkang Sparkletots as they enjoyed a fun day out in the sun.

Joining them in a pledge to save water at home and in school were 800 students and staff from Catholic Junior College, who chanted “Make Every Drop Count” as they did likewise in their school piazza.

From water-saving roadshows to schools conducting water rationing exercises and retailers offering blue-themed merchandise, PUB’s community partners across Singapore have been amazing in their support for the GoBlue4SG movement.




You’re never too young to start saving water, as these kids found out during a story-telling session - featuring PUB’s friendly mascot Water Wally - at the library@harbourfront in VivoCity. A section of the library was lit up in blue just for the session.


In the East, residents were treated to an entertaining water performance by kids from NE District Sparkletots at the “We Make Every Drop Count” carnival at Our Tampines Hub.


These are just some of the water conservation activities and efforts that have happened so far! Look out for more exciting roadshows and don’t forget to check out some of the blue deals we have throughout March. Together, lets #GoBlue4SG and make every drop count!

For the full list of blue deals from Fave, Deliveroo, BlueSG, COURTS, Harvey Norman Singapore, Gain City, Ya Kun, Swissotel Merchant Court and more, visit .

For the full list of upcoming roadshow locations, visit  .

12 March 2019

GoBlue4SG Movement Off to a Great Start

This March, communities and businesses have come together to support the water cause. Through initiatives such as retail promotions on blue or water-related merchandise, to buildings lighting up in blue on 22 March, and even simply wearing blue, Singaporeans and over 600 partners are doing their part to show their commitment towards using water wisely.

This grounds-up support, the GoBlue4SG movement, shows the collaborative effort that is required from all walks of the community to conserve and safeguard our precious water resource. It was off to a great start at the Singapore World Water Day Opening Ceremony on 2nd Mar.


Some of our community partners participated in the GoBlue4SG movement by turning up dressed in blue attire for the Walk for Water. Others came adorned with various blue accessories to show their support for the water conservation cause.



Students from Nanyang Polytechnic rallied on the crowd with their upbeat stage performance, all dressed in blue as well!


MAKE, an education centre that focuses on teaching children Math and Science through the making of useable prototypes, set up a booth where children aged between 7 and 12 years old taught participants how to make a DIY shower timer device by repurposing NEWater bottles. Besides showcasing ways to monitor water usage, the children also dressed up in blue to support the GoBlue4SG movement.


There are partners who show their support for the GoBlue4SG movement by spreading water conservation messages online. Blu, a home-grown retail logistics company, was one of them. They helped to raise awareness of the five water saving tips through their Social Media accounts.

Partners are introducing special deals to show their support for the GoBlue4SG movement. For example, from 18 to 24 March, Swensen’s are offering 15% off their range of Outrageous Sundaes to diners dressed in blue.



Everyone, no matter young or old, has a role to play in this water journey. We are looking forward to more partners and members of the public coming onboard to show their support for water conservation. Help the GoBlue4SG movement take on a life of its own by making a lifelong commitment to take ownership of protecting our water resources.

Together, we can Make Every Drop Count, and GoBlue4SG!

By Jaslynn Yeo

For the full list of blue deals from Fave, Deliveroo, BlueSG, COURTS, Harvey Norman Singapore, Gain City, Ya Kun, Swissotel Merchant Court and more, visit .

30 January 2019

Meet Kelvin Koh – General Manager of Ulu Pandan Water Reclamation Plant


Ulu Pandan Water Reclamation Plant General Manager Kelvin Koh is one of the engineers involved in Singapore’s demonstration project to co-digest food waste and used water sludge. Through the demonstration project, PUB aims to produce more biogas for electricity generation, in line with long-term targets to achieve energy self-sufficiency, or producing as much energy as it uses, for used water treatment.

Kelvin joined PUB in 2008 after graduating from the Imperial College London. He has worked in various roles in the Technology and Policy & Planning Departments, where he looked at innovative technologies and policies to address Singapore’s water challenges. He joined the Water Reclamation Plant (WRP) Department in July 2017.

Kelvin was very excited when PUB first announced the commencement of the co-digestion trial, as he had always been interested in PUB’S R&D efforts, which are aimed at increasing water resources, reducing production costs, and enhancing water security and system resilience.

He explains, “The co-digestion facility can treat up to 40 tons of combined food waste and used water sludge daily. The mixture is placed in an digester, and it is anaerobically digested to produce biogas, which can be converted to electricity. More biogas is expected as compared to digesting sludge alone due to higher calorific value in food waste.”


Kelvin shares that co-digestion technology has been applied in other countries such as the United States and Hungary, and he has visited the East Bay Municipal Utilities District Main Wastewater Treatment Plant in the United States where co-digestion is adopted. The challenge, however, is that the food waste has to be segregated at the start to remove the contaminants such as plastics, and pre-treated to ensure the purity of the food waste.

One challenge of this project was finding good quality food waste for co-digestion. Kelvin recalls a period where the team received large amounts of vegetables, which posed operational challenges in its conveyance into pre-treatment process units. However, through discussions with the National Environment Agency (NEA) and Veolia (NEA’s appointed food waste collector), they were able to work out a more representative profile of the food waste required for co-digestion.


When asked whether this technology would be applied at existing and future WRPs in Singapore, Kelvin shared that the current digesters are not designed in this manner.

“However, this demonstration trial proves that there are synergies in co-locating waste and used water treatment facilities. This gives us the confidence to adopt co-digestion process at the future Tuas Nexus, made up of the Integrated Waste Management Facility (IWMF) and Tuas Water Reclamation Plant. The greatest satisfaction from this project is knowing my team and I played a part in helping our environment by exploring solutions to use less electricity, and contributing to energy self-sufficiency in used water treatment. It was also a great experience working closely with NEA at an inter-agency level to resolve operational issues and implement the co-digestion process to tackle the issue of food waste.” shared Kelvin.

24 January 2019

Drink Wise, Drink Tap


Say hello to these four aspiring students from NTU Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information who strongly believe in the role of communications in mobilising people to create big changes in our world. Driven by a keen interest in reducing plastic waste, they have launched a campaign to encourage the consumption of tap water instead of bottled water, as part of their final-year project.

Their campaign “Drink Wise, Drink Tap” aims to increase tap water consumption over bottled water in a bid to reduce plastic waste. This is their very first public education campaign to reduce single-use plastic bottled water in Singapore, in which the latter has fallen short of the recent limelight revolving around plastic straws.


“We were inspired by the ongoing conversations and trend on metal straws, collapsible cups, etc. But we noticed that there were not enough conversations and talks surrounding plastic bottled water in Singapore, when it contributes greatly to plastic waste in Singapore,” shared Erny, Elaine, Yen Ping and Pei Xuan.

The students reached out to the public in various platforms including social media and community events. Among them was Earthfest 2019 which took place at Marina Barrage last weekend. The students engaged over 350 curious onlookers that passed by their booth to have a go at their water taste test between tap and bottled water. Many found it challenging to identify between the two and were fairly surprised at how clean and refreshing tap water tasted.

When asked why they decided to come up with a water taste test, the students said, “we want everybody living in Singapore to have a 100% trust in their country’s tap water. We are very lucky to be living in a country where you never have to worry about not having access to clean and safe drinking water, without any further filtering or boiling. And not just ‘safe’ for consumption, but of high quality. Hence, we want more people in Singapore to realise this as well.”


In addition to the water taste test, the students also engaged the crowd through educational board displays about Singapore’s tap water as well as a photo pledge taking via social media.

The team is especially heartened by the words of support and excitement expressed to them, both verbally and through their social media platforms. “The turnout was better than expected. We were busy every single minute of the entire event. Groups of people were constantly visiting our booth and very much willing to participate in our activities! During the actual event, many excited visitors of our booth shared that our project was very interesting and were very supportive of our cause.”


Following their success, the team will take on Eco Day Out 2019 that is to be held at Hong Kah North Community Centre on 27 Jan with similar activities in line. But hold your horses, because that is not all. Up next, they wish to cultivate a refill culture (straight from the tap!) amongst Singaporeans instead of purchasing bottled water whilst outdoors.

“When you need a drink, simply expand the bottle, grab a refill, drink up, collapse it back, and off you go. It is not an easy feat to break down psychological barriers but we hope that through our campaign, it can help spark more discussions on this issue,” said the students.

By Siow Ting Fong, Gerald Koh & Mi Hyun Chung

“Drink Wise, Drink Tap” campaign is currently ongoing. Do drop by their social media handles on Instagram (@drinktapsg) and Facebook (Drink Tap SG) for more details to show your support! Psst… check out their campaign publicity video “Water Taste Test” and see for yourself the reactions of those who seemingly cannot tell the difference between filtered, bottled and tap water!

14 January 2019