SINGAPORE - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong hopes that the debate on water price hike can remind Singaporeans of its value, he said on Thursday (March 2).
In a Facebook post, Mr Lee acknowledged that the issue has "triggered sharp reactions from Singaporeans".
Water prices will be raised by 30 per cent over two years, but low and middle-income households will get rebates to deal with the increase in living costs.
Prices were last raised in 2000.
The rising cost of producing water using desalination, and producing Newater, was one of the reasons given for the hike.
Singapore also relies on imported water from Johor and local catchment areas for its water.
Mr Lee pointed out that Singapore was one of the most water-stressed nations in the world.
"For us, water will always be a strategic resource, and a matter of national security," he wrote.
Singapore needs to price water correctly so that people are aware of how precious a resource it is, he added.
He also reiterated that most households will see a $2 to $11 price increase each month, while one to two-room households will not be affected by the hikes.
For three quarters of businesses, water bills will go up by less than a $1 per day, or $25 a month, he said.
Mr Lee concluded: "I hope this public debate reminds us how important and valuable water is, and how we can all help to conserve water, so that we always have enough water in Singapore."