Channel NewsAsia: Water is an issue of life & death for S’pore: PUB chief

Channel NewsAsia reported that the PUB Chief, Chew Men Leong has said Singapore will be capable of taking care of its own water needs by the time the water agreement with Malaysia expires in 2061, though there is a concern about the changing climate’s possible impact to Singapore’s drains.

Water is an issue of life & death for S’pore: PUB chief

SINGAPORE: Singapore’s second water agreement with Malaysia expires in 2061 but the Republic will be able to meet its water requirements independently ahead of this expiry date of the agreement “if need be”, said Chew Men Leong, the chief executive of the national water agency PUB.

He made the point in a recent interview with wire agency Bloomberg.

A spokesperson for PUB also stressed that Singapore will be abiding by the 2061 agreement till it expires.

The first water agreement with Malaysia expired on 31 August 2011.

Mr Chew added that Singapore spent S$600 million to S$800 million a year since 2006 on water infrastructure to boost its supply.

And he said the Republic has made progress to the point that it is now much more confident in terms of water security and sustainability.

Mr Chew however added that his main worry is climate change and how that lowers water levels at reservoirs.

Changing weather patterns also led to heavy rainfalls and flash floods that added stress to Singapore’s drainage systems, where parts of the Orchard Road shopping belt were affected over the past two years.

PUB is also working on reducing water consumption, Mr Chew said, through measures ranging from mandatory dual-flushing systems for toilets and automatic faucets in all public restrooms.

All this, because water is an issue of “life and death here” and that’s always been the message, the PUB chief emphasised.

Image from Diganta Talukdar

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