President Halimah urges Singaporeans to use water wisely

Eadlin Chua, 7, explaining a project to President Halimah Yacob as Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli, PUB chief executive Ng Joo Hee and Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources Amy Khor listen on.
Eadlin Chua, 7, explaining a project to President Halimah Yacob as Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli, PUB chief executive Ng Joo Hee and Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources Amy Khor listen on.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

Water conservation a sustained, collaborative effort: Halimah

While the Government will continue to plan and invest in infrastructure to ensure a secure, diversified and sustainable supply of water, Singaporeans must play their part and use water wisely, said President Halimah Yacob.

"Each drop of water does not come easy," she said at yesterday's launch of the annual Singapore World Water Day at Marina Barrage. "Water conservation goes beyond a mere campaign, it has to be a sustained and collaborative effort."

She noted that one of the Sustainable Development Goals under the United Nations' 2030 Agenda is having access to clean water and sanitation. Singapore is doing well on this front with its tap water well within the World Health Organisation's drinking water guidelines.

It has gone a step further to transform its drains, canals and reservoirs into streams, rivers and lakes, she said.

"Through hard work, perseverance and ingenuity, we have overcome our physical limitation of not having sufficient land to collect and store enough rain water for our use," she added.

With the four national taps in place - reservoirs, imported water, Newater and desalinated water - Singapore has been able to supply clean and adequate water for a growing nation.

"In spite of this, water security remains a challenge," said President Halimah. "While we have diversified sources of water, imported water is still a major water source."

 
 
 

With increasing demand and economic growth, Singapore's total water consumption is projected to double by 2060, she added.

Another factor: the effects of climate change which may hit Singapore badly, bringing about a water crisis if the country does not plan ahead.

President Halimah noted that the PUB has been investing in water infrastructure and several key projects have either been completed or are in progress. The Stamford Detention Tank, the Stamford Diversion Canal and the Tuas Desalination Plant were completed over the past year.

Other mega projects such as the Jurong Island Desalination Plant, Keppel Marina East Desalination Plant, Deep Tunnel Sewerage System Phase 2 and Tuas Nexus are being built. "These are costly but necessary investments as they will take us well through the next 50 years," President Halimah said.

She urged individuals to play their part and use water wisely.

"Our eventual goal is for each of us to take ownership of and be proactive in transforming Singapore's water journey, not just in the month of March, but also as a lifelong commitment," she said.

Yesterday's event was attended by about 3,000 representatives from schools, businesses and grassroots organisations, as well as Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli and Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources Amy Khor.

PUB also launched a new year-long campaign to promote conservation and show Singaporeans how clean water is produced.

About 60 roadshows and events will be held islandwide this month, and water rationing exercises will take place in about 150 schools.

World Water Day on March 22 will also see 23 landmarks and buildings lit in blue. A portion of Bishan-Ang Mo Kio park will also be shrouded in blue and seven bridges adorned with lights.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 03, 2019, with the headline 'President urges S'poreans to use water wisely'. Print Edition | Subscribe