PUB to install smart water meters from 2021

Photos submitted for national water agency PUB's #MyTakeOnWater photo challenge on display at Ngee Ann City yesterday.
Photos submitted for national water agency PUB's #MyTakeOnWater photo challenge on display at Ngee Ann City yesterday.ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

Seven areas to get 300,000 meters that can notify users of leaks, help them monitor usage

Residents and business owners in seven areas will be able to monitor their consumption of water and use it more efficiently from next year, thanks to a new online service.

National water agency PUB will roll out the first phase of its smart water meter programme early next year in Bukit Batok, Hougang, Jurong West, Tampines, Tuas, Tampines North and Tengah.

About 300,000 meters will be installed in homes and commercial and industrial buildings at these locations by 2023, it said yesterday.

The meters are much like fitness trackers that provide users with health data in that they will give customers online access to near real-time water usage data, PUB said.

They can get notifications of high usage or leaks, for example.

Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli said yesterday that the smart meters are a major boost for water conservation efforts.

Mr Masagos, who was speaking at a PUB event on conservation at Ngee Ann City, said though the agency has diversified sources of water here, higher demand and economic growth will place greater strain on water resources.

  • 300,000 

  • Number of water meters to be installed in homes and commercial and industrial buildings at Bukit Batok, Hougang, Jurong West, Tampines, Tuas, Tampines North and Tengah by 2023.

"Climate change is another serious threat. More extreme weather could lead to prolonged dry spells, which in turn will compromise our water supply... That is why we must each consciously find ways to conserve our water and help to safeguard Singapore's water security."

Each person here consumes an average of 141 litres of water a day, added Mr Masagos, and "there is room to save more". Under the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint, a 140-litre daily target per person had initially been set for 2030. In 2018, a new and more ambitious target of 130 litres was announced.

PUB said the smart meters will be installed and maintained at no charge to customers. It intends to deploy them across the island progressively after the first phase has been reviewed.

 
 

Data from the meters, including usage spikes throughout the day, will also help PUB plan for changes that need to be made to the water system. This would not be possible with the manual meters used now, it said.

Pilot trials carried out in 800 households in Punggol and Yuhua in 2016 and 2018 showed positive results. Households were found to have water savings of about 5 per cent due to early leak detection and the adoption of water-saving habits.

Operations manager Anthony Lim, 50, who was part of the Yuhua trial, said the data helped his family to cut down their water usage.

Mr Lim, who lives with his wife and two sons, noted: "My younger son used to take a 20-to 25-minute shower every morning, but he managed to cut it down to 15 after looking at the breakdown. The smart meter is one way to pass down the importance of water conservation to the younger generation."

Yesterday's event included an exhibition of works by photographers and art pieces by school children, as part of PUB's #MyTakeOnWater photo challenge and schools competition. IT executive Hang Loo Ming, 47, who won the photo challenge, said: "Water is a natural and precious resource, and we should use it wisely."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 12, 2020, with the headline 'PUB to install smart water meters from 2021'. Print Edition | Subscribe