Date
25 May 2017
Expanded catchment areas, water recycling and desalination have helped Singapore overcome shortfalls from its Malaysian source. Photo: Singapore Govt
Expanded catchment areas, water recycling and desalination have helped Singapore overcome shortfalls from its Malaysian source. Photo: Singapore Govt

Singapore achieves water self-reliance, builds more capacity

Singapore has become self-reliant in water and is building more capacity to meet a projected doubling in demand in the next 45 years.

Bloomberg cites a government minister saying the city-state no longer relies on neighboring Malaysia for water.

Singapore has a contract to buy from Malaysia more than half its daily water requirement of 400 to 420 million imperial gallons.

But Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli said in an interview last week that Singapore has been able to meet demand even when dry weather reduced the Malaysian supply.

Expanded catchment areas, water recycling and desalination have helped Singapore overcome shortfalls from its Malaysian source, Masagos said.

The government needs to build enough catchments, reservoirs and processing plants to supply the 800 million gallons a day it will consume by 2061 when the agreement to buy 250 million gallons daily from Malaysia runs out, he said.

“Because we have enough capacity, we are able to mitigate for shortfalls,” Masagos said.

“That’s why Singaporeans are able to see all our reservoirs full. They are totally disconnected from the fact that we are having a water problem” when parts of Malaysia have had to ration water in recent months, he said.

In the southern Malaysian state of Johor, which supplies Singapore raw water under the bilateral agreement, dry weather prompted the local water authority to ask Singapore for additional potable water earlier this month.

Singapore plans to complete its fifth NEWater plant, which reclaims treated used water, by the end of the year, producing 50 million gallons of water per day.

It is also building its third desalination plant, to be completed in 2017, with a fourth plant due to be ready toward the end of 2019.

Construction of a fifth is being explored, Masagos said in a speech in April.

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CG/RA

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