Firms looking to save water can get more grants under PUB fund

The grant disbursement period for such initiatives and projects has also been shortened from seven to three years. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - Firms can now benefit from more funding to buy water-efficient equipment, along with shorter disbursement periods, as part of a bid to encourage the non-domestic sector to save more water.

Firms that use at least 1,000 cubic m or more of water per month can now receive funding of up to $300,000 or up to 50 per cent of the installation cost of such equipment, including commercial dishwashers and washer extractors, under PUB's Water Efficiency Fund.

In addition, firms embarking on water recycling initiatives and projects using alternate water sources can now receive higher funding amounts for potable, NEWater and industrial water saved, capped at $1 million per project, said PUB in a statement on Saturday (Oct 31).

The grant disbursement period for such initiatives and projects has also been shortened from seven to three years.

This means companies undertaking these projects will receive 50 per cent of the grant amount upon commissioning of a full-scale recycling plant to save water, and the remaining 50 per cent upon satisfactory performance in the third year.

Pilot projects can also receive full funding of up to 50 per cent of the project cost, capped at $50,000, upon acceptance of their feasibility report for full-scale implementation instead of having to wait until after the recycling plant has been commissioned.

These latest enhancements to the fund will take effect from Sunday (Nov 1). They are expected to benefit some 3,200 eligible non-domestic customers, said the national water agency.

The non-domestic sector currently accounts for more than half of Singapore's total daily water demand.

Mr Ridzuan Ismail, director of the PUB Water Supply (Network) Department, said: "We have enhanced the Water Efficiency Fund to help water-intensive companies defray on-boarding costs and facilitate cash-flow management, ultimately reducing their water consumption, achieve cost savings and greater business sustainability."

According to PUB's website, Singapore's non-domestic sector uses about 55 per cent of its current water supply and this is projected to increase to 70 per cent of its future water demand by 2060.

The Water Efficiency Fund was introduced in 2007 to encourage companies to manage their water demand by co-funding water efficiency projects that yield at least 10 per cent reduction in water consumption or annual water savings of at least 6,000 cubic metres.

This includes feasibility studies, water audits, recycling efforts and the use of alternate sources of water.

Since then, PUB has facilitated more than 350 projects, with over $24 million in funds awarded.

Commercial laundry operator Iwash Laundry is among those seeking to benefit from the enhanced scheme.

Its parent company, 800 Super Holdings, was awarded a grant under the Water Efficiency Fund in September to build its first water recycling system.

The system, expected to be ready by the third quarter of next year, is meant to recycle used water from its tunnel washer and washer extractors for reuse in its laundry operations.

The firm expects to achieve a water recycling rate of up to 49 per cent when the plant is completed, saving around 15 per cent in its monthly water bills.

Director of Iwash Laundry Au Chee Cheong said that as a commercial laundry operator, his company uses a lot of water in its business operations.

"Water is a scarce resource in Singapore, and we want to do our part as a good corporate citizen to make every drop count."

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