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Wanted: Innovative solutions to support water resilience and environmental sustainability354 Innovative solutions to support water resilience and environmental sustainability11/1/2023 4:00:00 PMIssue DateOverview<div>​​​​​​​​​​<br><br></div><p style="text-align:justify;"> <strong>Singapore, 12 Jan 2023 – </strong>In capturing carbon dioxide from seawater to offset carbon emissions during desalination, how do we make optimal use of the sequestered carbon by-products? Is there an effective way to recover readily soluble phosphorus, used in hydroponics, from the used water treatment process? National Water Agency PUB's Global Innovation Challenge (GIC) will seek the best ideas globally to address these key questions, as we ensure our operations remain resilient and sustainable. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">2          Innovation and adopting new technologies have always been central to PUB as we advance water resilience and environmental sustainability. It is imperative that we continue to strengthen the resilience of our operations and seek more sustainable methods to produce water and reduce our carbon footprint. Following the success of the last two editions, PUB is bringing back the GIC and inviting water industry partners and innovators to co-develop solutions across four challenge statements (refer to <a href="/sites/assets/PressReleaseDocuments/Annex%20A%20-%20GIC%203%20Challenge%20Statements.pdf">​ ​Ann​ex A</a>​ for full details​).<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;"> <strong>GIC 3: Anchored on sustainability & resilient operations</strong> <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">3          The third iteration<a href="file:///C:/Users/PUBCON-VENUDE/Downloads/[Website]%2012-01-2023%20Press%20Release_PUB%20seeks%20innovative%20solutions%20to%20support%20water%20resilience%20%26amp;%20environmental%20sustainability.docx"><sup>[1]</sup></a> of the GIobal Innovation Challenge will anchor on sustainability and smart solutions to enhance the resilience of PUB's operations. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">4          To advance our decarbonisation efforts, PUB is working with SeaChange, a technology start-up from the University of California, Los Angeles, to build a pilot system<a href="file:///C:/Users/PUBCON-VENUDE/Downloads/[Website]%2012-01-2023%20Press%20Release_PUB%20seeks%20innovative%20solutions%20to%20support%20water%20resilience%20%26amp;%20environmental%20sustainability.docx"><sup>[2]</sup></a> for carbon removal at our desalination plants. Another project with CO2Tech, the commercial arm of Australian decarbonisation research organisation CO2CRC, will explore capturing carbon dioxide via solvent absorption and membrane separation, and mineralise it with brine from our desalination plants<a href="file:///C:/Users/PUBCON-VENUDE/Downloads/[Website]%2012-01-2023%20Press%20Release_PUB%20seeks%20innovative%20solutions%20to%20support%20water%20resilience%20%26amp;%20environmental%20sustainability.docx"><sup>[3]</sup></a>. If these carbon capture projects are successful, large quantities of carbon by-products will be produced. One of the GIC's challenge statements aims to seek useful industrial applications for these by-products to ensure permanent carbon removal. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">5          Phosphorous, a critical yet limited resource for modern agriculture, can be found in significant quantities in used water. As part of our ongoing efforts to improve resource circularity and reduce the volume of waste sent to landfill, PUB is sourcing for solutions to recover phosphorus from the waste streams of our water reclamation plants. Recovered phosphorous, free of contaminants, in soluble form can be used for hydroponics cultivation and contribute to Singapore's push towards food security. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">6          Two other challenge statements are focused on developing smart solutions (Sewer Sampling Robot and Smart Drain Inspector) to enhance PUB's operations. Smart robotic solutions will not only enhance our operational outcomes, but also improve manpower productivity and the safety of our workers.</p>​​​​<span style="font-family:roboto-regular-webfont;font-size:18px;text-align:justify;">7   </span><span style="font-family:roboto-regular-webfont;font-size:18px;text-align:justify;">       Viable proposals shortlisted by PUB will receive pilot funding of ​</span><strong style="font-family:roboto-regular-webfont;font-size:18px;text-align:justify;">up to $250,000</strong><span style="font-family:roboto-regular-webfont;font-size:18px;text-align:justify;"> each. During the development process, organisations and individuals will gain access to real-world test beds in PUB's facilities and get the opportunity to work alongside its in-house engineers and water experts, with the goal of achieving commercial implementation.​​</span> <p></p> ​<span style="font-family:roboto-regular-webfont;font-size:18px;text-align:justify;">8          </span>​ <span style="font-family:roboto-regular-webfont;font-size:18px;text-align:justify;">Said Dr Pang Chee Meng, PUB's Chief Engineering and Technology Officer: “As a firm believer in innovation and technology, PUB has been investing in and supporting water-related research to develop innovative solutions to overcome our water challenges. To meet Singapore's future water needs, while reducing its energy and waste footprint to mitigate climate change, PUB continues to source for new ideas to enhance water resilience and sustainability. The Global Innovation Challenge offers an exciting opportunity to companies around the world. We are hoping to leverage the best ideas globally to discover and adopt promising technology to revolutionise our operations, as part of our ongoing transformation to become a smart and sustainable utility of the future."</span><strong style="font-family:roboto-regular-webfont;font-size:18px;text-align:justify;font-style:inherit;"> </strong><br><br>​​ <p style="text-align:justify;"> <strong>Past GIC projects</strong><strong style="font-style:inherit;"> </strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">9          PUB's last two Global Innovation Challenge editions sparked global interest, receiving more than 160 proposals. The outreach has been successful with more than 70% of the proposals coming from entities that PUB has not worked with previously. A total of 13 innovative solutions (refer to <a href="/sites/assets/PressReleaseDocuments/Annex%20B%20-%20Past%20GIC%20projects.pdf">​ ​​Annex B</a>​) were awarded pilot projects, all of which are currently at various stages of development. Examples of ongoing projects include: </p><p style="text-align:justify;"> <span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;">Cost-effective, real-time rainfall monitoring</span></p> <img src="/sites/assets/PressReleaseAssets/Starhub.png" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:452px;" /> <p style="text-align:justify;"> <em>StarHub's mobile base stations can also function as rainfall sensors: </em> <em> <strong>Photo credit: StarHub</strong></em></p><p style="text-align:justify;">10          Local telco StarHub and water management consultancy Hydroinformatics Institute (H2i) are working together on a proof-of-concept that taps the former's network of mobile base stations to function as rainfall sensors. The project aims to assess the potential of using cellular signals and machine learning models to generate real-time rainfall maps, which will further enhance the effectiveness of PUB's flood monitoring and response efforts during heavy rainstorms. Preliminary results are promising and have demonstrated a correlation between cellular signal strength and actual rainfall measurements from rain gauges.</p>​​ <p style="text-align:justify;"> <span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;">Innovative solutions for coastal protection</span></p> <img src="/sites/assets/PressReleaseAssets/xblockplus.png" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:317px;" /> <img src="/sites/assets/PressReleaseAssets/xblocplusApp.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;border:1px solid #e6e6e6;width:264px;height:auto;text-align:justify;font-family:roboto-regular-webfont;font-size:18px;max-width:645px;" /> <span style="text-align:justify;font-family:roboto-regular-webfont;font-size:18px;"> </span> <p style="text-align:justify;"> <strong><em>Left</em></strong><em>: XblocPlus armour units being installed at the Afsluitdijk in the Netherlands for coastal protection. </em> <em> <strong>Right</strong></em><em>: Artist's impression of possible XblocPlus application along Singapore's coastline. </em> <em> <strong>Photo credit: Delta Marine Consultants</strong></em> </p><p style="text-align:justify;">11        Dutch engineering firm Delta Marine Consultants (DMC) is exploring the suitability of a variant of XblocPlus<a href="file:///C:/Users/PUBCON-VENUDE/Downloads/[Website]%2012-01-2023%20Press%20Release_PUB%20seeks%20innovative%20solutions%20to%20support%20water%20resilience%20%26amp;%20environmental%20sustainability.docx"><sup>[4]</sup></a>, a modular system consisting of interlocking prefabricated concrete armour units, in Singapore's coastal environment to tackle sea level rise. DMC has developed several designs based on concepts such as a hybrid approach incorporating nature-based elements. The modular system offers an adaptable and scalable design, which can minimise land-take and integrate with various types of landuses. This is advantageous given Singapore's land constraints. Such a system could also provide a potential option of a more sustainable construction model for our coastal protection needs.  </p><p style="text-align:justify;">12        An online information session for the third edition of the GIC will be held on 18 January 2023. Interested parties can sign up via <a href=""></a>. <br></p><p style="text-align:center;">***</p><p style="text-align:justify;"> <strong>About PUB Global Innovation Challenge</strong><strong style="font-style:inherit;"> </strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The GIC was launched in 2020 as part of PUB's constant pursuit of great ideas, as we seek to accelerate the discovery and adoption of smart solutions and new technologies to overcome technical challenges, improve operational excellence and meet future water needs. We commit to providing funding support that will help cover the costs of development and test-bedding. To date, around $3 million in funding has been awarded. </p><p>If the pilot proves successful, PUB will also help to scale-up the product, which will facilitate its commercialisation. For more information, visit PUB's GIC webpage: <a href=""></a>.​<strong style="text-align:justify;font-style:inherit;"> </strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;"> <strong>About PUB</strong><strong>, Singapore's National Water Agency</strong><strong>     </strong>​<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">PUB is a statutory board under the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment (MSE). It is the national water agency, which manages Singapore's water supply, water catchment, and used water in an integrated way. From April 2020, PUB also took on the responsibility of protecting Singapore's coastline from sea-level rise as the national coastal protection agency. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">PUB has ensured a diversified and sustainable supply of water for Singapore with the <em>Four National Taps</em> (local catchment water, imported water, NEWater, desalinated water). PUB leads and coordinates whole-of-government efforts to protect Singapore from the threat of rising seas and the holistic management of inland and coastal flood risks.  </p><p style="text-align:justify;">PUB calls on everyone to play a part in conserving water, in keeping our waterways clean, and in caring for Singapore's precious water resources. If we all do our little bit, there will be enough water for all our needs – for commerce and industry, for living, for life.​ </p><div><p>Find out more about us:<br>Like us at <a href="/_layouts/15/Catalog.aspx?Url=https%3A%2F%2Fpubweb%2Dpvt%2Epub%2Egov%2Esg%2FPages%2Fwww%2Efacebook%2Ecom%2FPUBsg"></a><br>Follow us on <a href="/_layouts/15/Catalog.aspx?Url=https%3A%2F%2Fpubweb%2Dpvt%2Epub%2Egov%2Esg%2FPages%2Fwww%2Einstagram%2Ecom%2FPUBsingapore"></a> and <a href="/_layouts/15/Catalog.aspx?Url=https%3A%2F%2Fpubweb%2Dpvt%2Epub%2Egov%2Esg%2FPages%2Fwww%2Etwitter%2Ecom%2FPUBsingapore"></a><br>S​ubscribe to our channel at <a href="/_layouts/15/Catalog.aspx?Url=https%3A%2F%2Fpubweb%2Dpvt%2Epub%2Egov%2Esg%2FPages%2Fwww%2Eyoutube%2Ecom%2FsgPUB"></a><br>Visit our website at <a href="/_layouts/15/Catalog.aspx?Url=https%3A%2F%2Fpubweb%2Dpvt%2Epub%2Egov%2Esg%2FPages%2Fwww%2Epub%2Egov%2Esg"></a><br><br></p>​</div>​ <p>​<a href="file:///C:/Users/PUBCON-VENUDE/Downloads/[Website]%2012-01-2023%20Press%20Release_PUB%20seeks%20innovative%20solutions%20to%20support%20water%20resilience%20%26amp;%20environmental%20sustainability.docx"><sup>[1]</sup></a><sup> </sup>The first GIC kicked off in Sep 2020, followed by the second edition in June 2021. The first two editions focused largely on digital and smart solutions to improve PUB's operational excellence. </p><p> <a href="file:///C:/Users/PUBCON-VENUDE/Downloads/[Website]%2012-01-2023%20Press%20Release_PUB%20seeks%20innovative%20solutions%20to%20support%20water%20resilience%20%26amp;%20environmental%20sustainability.docx"><sup>[2]</sup></a><sup> </sup>For more information on PUB's project with SeaChange, visit: <a href=""></a> </p><p> <a href="file:///C:/Users/PUBCON-VENUDE/Downloads/[Website]%2012-01-2023%20Press%20Release_PUB%20seeks%20innovative%20solutions%20to%20support%20water%20resilience%20%26amp;%20environmental%20sustainability.docx"><sup>[3]</sup></a><sup> </sup>For more information on PUB's project with CO2Tech, visit: <a href=""></a> </p><p> <a href="file:///C:/Users/PUBCON-VENUDE/Downloads/[Website]%2012-01-2023%20Press%20Release_PUB%20seeks%20innovative%20solutions%20to%20support%20water%20resilience%20%26amp;%20environmental%20sustainability.docx"><sup>[4]</sup></a> For more information on PUB's collaboration with DMC on XblocPlus, visit: <a href=""></a><br><br><br></p>