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Singapore Water Story

Overview

Water demand in Singapore is currently about 430 million gallons a day (mgd), with homes consuming 45% and the non-domestic sector taking up the rest. By 2060, Singapore's total water demand could almost double, with the non-domestic sector accounting for about 70%. By then, NEWater and desalination will meet up to 85% of Singapore’s future water demand.

 

    

     

          

As demand for water continues to increase in tandem with population and economic growth, we will need to plan and implement water infrastructure well ahead to secure an adequate and affordable supply of water for the future generations.

We look at expanding our capacities on water supply, used water management and drainage against the challenges of urbanisation and climate change. This effort includes the need for continual investment in R&D on water technology to seek more cost-effective ways of treating, recycling and supplying water. We believe everyone in Singapore has a stake in water – as a necessary resource, an economic asset and an environmental treasure.

(Click on image for an enlarged view)

 

Growing from Strength to Strength

Through the years, we have embarked on an integrated, effective and cost-efficient way to meet the nation’s water needs with investments in research and technology to treat, recycle and supply water. Today, Singapore is internationally recognised as a model city for water management and an emerging Global Hydrohub – a leading centre for business opportunities and expertise in water technologies.

Key Strategies in Place

Our holistic approach to water management, however, can be distilled into three key strategies: 

  • Collect every drop of water
  • Reuse water endlessly
  • Desalinate more seawater
Diversifying Water Supply

Over the last 50 years, we have built a robust and diversified supply of water known as the “Four National Taps", as listed below. Our tap water is well within the World Health Organisation (WHO) drinking water guidelines and is suitable for drinking without any further filtration.

1. Water from Local Catchment

 
 

Water from local catchment is a pillar of our sustainable water supply. Since 2011, the water catchment area has been increased from half to two-thirds of Singapore’s land surface with the completion of the Marina, Punggol and Serangoon Reservoir.

In the long run, our water catchment area will increase from two-thirds to 90% of Singapore’s land area. Most of this will be made up of unprotected catchments which are land where development is allowed, for example, for residential, commercial and non-pollutive industrial purposes.

Reservoir in the City

An iconic structure at the mouth of the Marina Channel and the vision of the first Prime Minister of Singapore Mr Lee Kuan Yew more than twenty years ago, Marina Barrage creates Singapore’s 15th reservoir, Marina Reservoir.

2. Imported Water

 
 

3. NEWater

 
 

4. Desalinated Water

 
 
Conserving Water

Managing water demand is as important as securing an adequate supply of water. Achieving a sustainable level of water consumption and managing the impact of water on the environment take the commitment and participation of the community.

Since 1970s, PUB has initiated a wide range of water conservation plans to encourage prudent water usage. The programmes such as Mandatory Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme and Water Efficient Building Certification, cover both the domestic and non-domestic sectors, respectively.

On a personal level

Singapore's per capita household water consumption was reduced from 165 litres per day in 2003 to the current 148 litres. The target is to lower it to 147 litres by 2020 and 140 litres by 2030.

Water Conservation Awareness Programme

  • Businesses and industries are encouraged to certify their buildings, operations and premises under Water Efficient Building Certification.
  • Manadatory Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme helps consumers choose water efficient products like washing machine.

Find out more on how we save water here.

Engaging the Community

Active, Beautiful, Clean Waters Programme                  

     

Under the Active, Beautiful, Clean Waters (ABC Waters) Programme, we have optimized reservoirs, rivers and canals beyond their traditional functions of channelling water and water storage. Pockets of community spaces now offer a host of recreational options for people to enjoy, transforming Singapore into a vibrant City of Gardens and Water. More than 100 potential locations are identified for the implementation of this programme by 2030. 

Launched in April 2006, this programme is part of PUB's larger strategic objective to bring people closer to water so that they can better appreciate adn cherish this precious resource.

Recognition and Outreach

  • Watermark Awards recognises individuals and organisations for their outstanding contributions towards the water cause.
  • Organisations and members of the public who are keen in raising awareness on water conservation and organising water related activities are welcome as Friends of Water.
Becoming a Global Hydrohub

As Singapore continues to innovate and harness cutting-edge water and environment technologies, we play a key role in sharing water sustainability solutions. With Singapore’s water management experience and a vibrant local water industry, we welcome international collaborations to commercialise new products and solutions.

Research & Development

Spurred to transform Singapore into a Global Hydrohub with a thriving and vibrant research community, the Environment and Water Programme Office garnered funding of S$670 million to promote R&D in the water sector from the National Research Foundation. There are now over 180 water companies and more than 20 research centres in Singapore.

Singapore International Water Week

A major global platform for the sharing and co-creation of water solutions is at the Singapore International Water Week (SIWW). As the host country, Singapore facilitated the stream of collaborations between various policy-makers, industry leaders, researchers and academia from over 100 countries as pivotal to growing our aspirations to be a Global Hydrohub. SIWW was held in conjunction with the World Cities Summit, CleanEnviro Summit Singapore, and The Water Expo.