Page 28 - SENV 2122 eBook
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  Keppel Marina East Desalination Plant, Singapore
Photo credit: Keppel
Water: From Vulnerability
to Strength
Faced with the constraints of limited natural water resources and land, Singapore has recognised providing a sustainable supply of water for its people as a vital issue in the 1960s. In the early days, we faced and overcame drought, floods and water pollution as the city grew. These challenges have inspired us to innovate and develop capabilities in water management, turning our vulnerability into strength.
Our experience in effectively addressing our water challenges has earned us international recognition as a model city for water management and a leading global hydrohub. PUB is also the national Coastal Protection Agency to safeguard Singapore’s coastline and strengthen the nation’s overall resilience against climate change.
Quest for a Diversified and
Sustainable Supply of Water
Through integrated water management, PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency, has successfully closed the “water loop” and manages the whole water cycle, from rainwater collection to the purification and supply of drinking water, to the treatment of used water
and its reclamation into NEWater, Singapore’s own brand of high-grade recycled water.
This has enabled PUB to put in place a robust and sustainable water supply strategy known as the Four National Taps – water from local catchment, imported water, NEWater and desalinated water.
Today, two-thirds of Singapore’s land area is water catchment. Rainwater is collected by a pervasive network of waterways and channelled to the 17 reservoirs for storage. This makes Singapore one of the few countries in the world to harvest urban storm water on a large scale for its water supply.
The introduction of NEWater in 2003 was a major milestone. This ultra-clean, high-grade reclaimed water is a Singapore success story and the pillar of our water sustainability. NEWater is produced by further purifying treated used water using advanced membrane technologies – namely, microfiltration, reverse osmosis and ultraviolet disinfection – making it ultra-clean and safe to drink. Today, Singapore has 5 NEWater plants producing this high-grade reclaimed water for use in industry.
Desalinated water has been a part of our water supply since 2005 when Singapore’s first desalination plant was opened. Today, Singapore has four desalination plants. The fourth and

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