Water & Wastewater Asia Jul/Aug 2018

WATER & WASTEWATER ASIA July / August 2018 46 / INSIGHT I n the first and second articles, Water & Was tewater As i a explored how the innovation and creativity in Singapore’s water industry led to the development of NEWater and the international recognition the city-state earned as a global hub for water solutions. With little natural resources save its well-educated and ambitious populace, the island nation’s water story has cemented its place in the annals of history. However, the journey towards realising water sustainability is not over though huge leaps have been made. Since the success of NEWater, PUB, Singapore’s national water agency, has been looking to the future, planning future steps and preparing the country for water- related challenges. Now, in this third and final article in the series with Mr Harry Seah, PUB’s Assistant Chief Executive (Future Systems and Technology), we will be looking at the water- energy nexus as well as what might be ahead for the water industry as a whole. Water-energy nexus Singapore has a diversified and robust water supply stemming from four sources, of which NEWater and desalination are not dependent on rainfall and more weather resilient. “But desalination and NEWater – which is produced through reverse- osmosis – aremore energy-intensive and more expensive to produce as compared to conventional water treatment processes, there is a risk of replacing a water issue with an energy issue,” Mr Seah explained. “For instance, if we continue to use reverse-osmosis to desalinate seawater, Singapore’s desalination energy use in 2060 could be three times greater compared to the present.” PUB is looking into ways in which to mitigate this, continually pouring effort into research to With a diversified water portfolio, Singapore has strengthened water security. But the country is now turning its attention to diverting a water-energy nexus. Singapore’s water story is famous all over the world, detailing how a tiny island-nation with little natural resources achieved water sustainability in a generation. But the story isn’t over yet; if anything, it’s just beginning.