Innovation key to water sustainability

I am heartened to know that national water agency PUB is constructing a new water reclamation plant ("New sewage and water reclamation infrastructure for western Singapore"; ST Online, April 6).

Along with sources such as desalination, Newater and our local water catchment areas, this should enable Singapore to sustain its water needs without depending on imported water.

Currently, Singapore gets around half of its water supply from Malaysia. With the Singapore-Malaysia Water Agreement expiring in 2061, we should start to do more to conserve our limited water resources.

As global warming becomes more prevalent all over the world, the effects of climate change are becoming harshly significant, although they are not felt severely at the moment.

Singapore has been and will be experiencing a lower rate of rainfall in the next few decades, which will increase the water stress in our country.

However, there is only so much that new water supplies can do for us.

Innovation is the key to success in water conservation here. Perhaps members of the younger generation, known for their creativity, can come up with more new ideas to boost water conservation.

With an expanded amount of human talent and new innovations in water technology and engineering, Singapore will be one step closer to actively developing a thriving and globally competitive water industry.

There has been a lot of technological advancement in water treatment in recent years, such as filtering membranes made of titanium dioxide nanotechnology ("NTU team invents cheaper, more efficient, water-filtering membrane"; ST Online, Sept 11, 2014) and aquaporin ("Local university teams create protein membranes"; Nov 27, 2015).

These have provided cheaper and easier alternatives to the usual water-filtering systems.

There is a need for younger generations to come up with new innovations, and to build on and improve current technologies, which can be a great help in ensuring Singapore's water sustainability and self-reliance in the future.

Hilary Mah Xin Yi (Miss)