Visit to PUB NEWater Plant

1 Sep 2015

NEWater LKY School Students

Photo credit: Vivian Wendan Zheng‎

It would have been a lazy Friday afternoon for us, before the recess week, if not for the trip to NEWater plant organized by Singapore Experience team.

We were met at the entrance by NEWater Visitors Center employees, who led us through futuristic interiors of the factory to show us how used water gets purified (into pure H2O).

NEWater is the product of the Public Utilities Board that has added one more pillar to Singapore’s stability by reclaiming country’s used water. This technological process includes filtration of treated used water through reverse osmosis and ultraviolet disinfections. With a production volume of 18 million gallons per day, NEWater satisfies a third of Singapore’s daily water demands. NEWater is mainly used in industrial water supply.

Presently, Singapore’s water supply comes from 4 sources: rainfalls, import, desalination and recycling. PUB is building more NEWater plants to secure Singapore’s water needs by 2060.

It was amazing to learn how Singapore constantly implements innovation in search for new water sources. It would have been even more interesting to learn about how the NEWater idea originated and through what steps it was brought to life in terms of policy issues. What is the cooperation between governmental and private sectors? Is the enterprise profitable or subsidized? Who takes control of general management, building new plants, maintenance of the old ones? All these are questions that a Public Policy student would endeavour to find out about.

Still, it was a fun visit for Public Policy students who forgot their assignments momentarily and felt as if though they were kids, as they explored NEWater Visitor Center’s educational facilities.