NEWater, Singapore's high-quality reclaimed water, shone again on the world stage when it clinched the title "Environmental Contribution of the Year" at the Global Water Awards 2008 ceremony on Monday night in London.
This is the second award received by PUB, Singapore's national water agency, from the award organiser, Global Water Intelligence (GWI). In 2006, PUB was named the Water Agency of the Year in Dubai.
NEWater, launched by PUB in 2003, triumphed over three other strong contenders for the award category. They are the Aragon Waste Water Treatment plant, Chennai Water Desalination Carbon Credit/VFD and Dr Sabine Lattermann's work on desalination discharge. Aragon Waste Water Treatment plant is the runner-up in this category.
The "Environmental Contribution of the Year" award recognises stewardship in the water industry by way of a project, process or an organization that best reflects the ability of a water or wastewater plant that leaves a small environmental footprint.
This prestigious international award bears testimony to the success of NEWater's success as a viable and sustainable source of water. In the citation for NEWater, GWI said Singapore is the world leader in the application of recycled water and its NEWater strategy has created the template for all water agencies looking to introduce potable water reuse.
Mr Khoo Teng Chye, Chief Executive of PUB, received the distinguished award from Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus at the Global Water Awards Dinner held in London. He said, "Water reuse and desalination are two key solutions for cities looking to manage their water supply in a sustainable way. NEWater is a result of PUB's continuous investments in water R&D and it enables us to use each drop of water more than once, so that we do not need to take more water from the environment. That helps to contribute to water sustainability."
Mr Christopher Gasson, the publisher of GWI, said, "Singapore has led the world in water reuse. This award recognises the far sightedness and creativity of PUB. Other countries will surely follow its footprints."
He added," At the Global Water Awards dinner we toasted the award with NEWater specially shipped over from Singapore. Its quality and taste surpasses the best London's water can offer."
The "Environmental Contribution of the Year" award is NEWater's second international acclaim. The first was presented by the National Water Research Institute of the United States in 2002 for the NEWater Demonstration Plant. The "Award of Excellence" was given in recognition of PUB's outstanding contributions to microfiltration technology.
NEWater is produced by purifying treated used water through using advanced microfiltration or ultrafiltration, reverse osmosis membranes and ultraviolet technology. This cutting-edge technological process makes water exceptionally clean and safe to drink. Produced in Singapore on a large-scale basis, NEWater is one of Singapore's Four National Taps and PUB's long-term strategy to put in place a diversified and robust water supply for Singapore. The other three sources are water from local catchment, imported water from Johor and desalinated water.
Being ultra-clean in quality, NEWater is highly demanded by non-domestic customers such as water fabrication plants in Singapore. To cope with growing demand, work on the fifth and largest NEWater plant located in Changi will start this month. This plant can produce up to 50 million gallons of NEWater a day.
At present, NEWater is already meeting more than 15 percent of Singapore's daily water needs for domestic and non-domestic sectors. By 2011, it is expected to meet 30 percent of the country's total water needs, surpassing the original target of 15 percent.
Mr Khoo attributes the success of NEWater to strong political support, diligent research conducted over many years, steady demand and widespread acceptance which is the result of a comprehensive public education programme.
The NEWater Visitor Centre plays a key role in sharing with more than 500,000 visitors including overseas delegates and dignitaries since it opened its doors in 2003 when NEWater was officially launched. The centre showcases Singapore's integrated water management story through various entertaining multimedia presentations and interactive games.
Singapore International Water Week
With widespread global changes pushing environmental concerns in the forefront globally, PUB has joined the quest for improving sustainability and quality of water supply. To address such challenges and in recognition of the expanding water industry now worth billions worldwide, PUB will launch the inaugural Singapore International Water Week from 23 to 27 June 2008 at the Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
With the theme "Sustainable Water Solutions for Cities", this annual event will focus on best practices, practical water solutions and innovative technologies. The global platform comprising five key events – Water Leaders Summit, Water Convention, Water Expo, Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize and Water Festival – is expecting more than 6,000 government officials, water specialists and industry leaders to congregate in Singapore. For more information, please visit