Singapore's NEWater wins UN best-practices award

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, March 21, 2014
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Singapore's NEWater, a kind of home-grown reclaimed water, has won the "Water for Life" United Nations Water (UN-Water) Best Practices Award 2014 for its public communications and education efforts.

It was announced by the Public Utilities Board (PUB), a statutory board that manages Singapore's water supply, water catchment and used water, on Friday.

The PUB said their team received the award earlier on Friday during a special ceremony held in commemoration of World Water Day 2014 in Tokyo. The NEWater was awarded under the "Best participatory, communication, awareness-raising and education practices" category, out of nine nominations in this category.

The other category is for best water management practices, for which 25 nominations were received from around the world. The International Water Management Institute-Tata Water Policy Program, a project based on water scarce across India won this category.

The annual UN-Water awards recognise practices that ensure the long-term sustainable management of water resources.

"The Jury of the 'Water for Life' UN-Water Best Practices Award has recognized NEWater for its strong social component and enduring partnerships in its manifold and remarkable water management practices contributing to Singapore's water sustainability", the PUB quoted Josefina Maestu, director of UN- Water Decade Program on Advocacy and Communication, as saying.

As a city-state with rare resources, Singapore's NEWater made its debut in the national day of 2002. Former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong had a drink of this NEWater witnessed by crowds of citizens at that time.

According to the PUB, NEWater is ultra-clean, high-grade reclaimed water produced from treated used water using advanced membrane technologies. It can currently meet 30 percent of Singapore's daily water needs, and its capacity will be increased to meet up to 55 percent of Singapore's future water demand by 2060.

It is used primarily for non-potable purposes at wafer fabrication parks, industrial estates and commercial buildings. A small amount is also blended with raw reservoir water before undergoing treatment at the waterworks for the water supply.

It also become one of Singapore "Four National Taps" strategy, which also includes local catchment water, imported water and desalinated water.

"What distinguishes NEWater is the success that we have achieved in building public confidence for indirect potable use. This is part of an overall strategy that has the objective of changing the mindset of the population, stressing a new approach to water management by communicating to the public the need to look at water as a renewable resource that could be used over and over again," said Chew Men Leong, PUB chief executive. Endi

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