The introduction of Newater, produced through a process that recycles treated used water into ultra-clean, high-grade reclaimed water, helps to protect Singapore's water supply against dry weather and has moved the country a few critical steps towards water sustainability. Today, there are five Newater plants that supply up to 40 per cent of Singapore's current water needs. By 2060, Newater is expected to meet up to 55 per cent of Singapore's future water demand.
The technological breakthrough inherent in Newater was paralleled by its psychological acceptance by a population understandably queasy initially about consuming used water. Both science and sheer necessity spark innovation, which transforms physical constraints and social habits into new possibilities.