Firms given funding and other support to drive water savings

A woman filling up a glass with tap water.
A woman filling up a glass with tap water.PHOTO: AFP

We thank Mr Tan Kar Quan for his letter (Is fund for water efficiency being optimally allocated?, June 13).

National water agency PUB and the National Research Foundation (NRF) provide funding to encourage industrial users and businesses to implement prototype research and development projects in the areas of water efficiency and recycling. This is to drive water savings in the non-domestic sector.

Currently, non-domestic water usage accounts for about 55 per cent of Singapore's total water consumption. This is projected to increase to 70 per cent by 2060.

There are about 700 large water users in Singapore and they make up 60 per cent of the non-domestic water that is used. To ensure long-term sustainability of our water supply, we encourage these large users to conserve water.

The funding criteria of the schemes consider the technology application and amount of water savings from a value-for-money approach.

The major part of the project cost is borne by the companies. Other than funding, PUB also provides technical and planning support to them, such as matching them to technology providers and reviewing engineering plans to optimise project costs.

To date, PUB and NRF have supported 22 such projects and another 13 will be completed by 2021, saving about 8 million gallons of water per day (about 141/2 Olympic-size swimming pools).

For most of the projects, local technology providers are matched with the companies.

For example, Wyeth Nutritionals (Singapore) collaborated with local technology provider Boustead Salcon to test a high-efficiency water recycling system at their plant in Tuas, and saved 25 per cent of its water use.

This project was showcased during the Singapore International Water Week Spotlight 2019 to create awareness and encourage water recycling efforts in other companies.

Under the schemes, Singapore companies such as Asia Pacific Breweries Singapore and Yeo Hiap Seng Limited have also generated water savings from technologies provided by Witco, a local small and medium-sized enterprise, and Nanyang Technological University's Nanyang Environment and Water Research Institute respectively.

Pang Chee Meng (Dr)

Chief Engineering and

Technology Officer

PUB, Singapore's National Water Agency

Yeoh Lean Weng (Dr)

Director, Urban Solutions and Sustainability

National Research Foundation

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 18, 2019, with the headline 'Firms given funding and other support to drive water savings'. Subscribe