Sunday 23 March 2014

NEWater outreach wins UN-Water award

UN award for NEWater
By Grace Chua, The Straits Times, 22 Mar 2014

SINGAPORE'S reclaimed water, NEWater, has won a best practices award from the United Nations for its outreach and public education work, national water agency PUB said yesterday.

PUB chief executive Chew Men Leong picked up the ''Water for Life'' United Nations Water (UN-Water) 2014 award at a ceremony in Tokyo yesterday, held to commemorate World Water Day today.

NEWater was one of nine entrants in the ''best participatory, communication, awareness-raising and education practices'' category. It was nominated by the Third World Centre for Water Management.

The centre's founder Asit Biswas and vice-president Cecilia Tortajada are water policy experts based in Singapore.

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

NEWater, introduced into reservoirs here in 2003, is ultra-pure reclaimed water produced from treated used water using advanced membrane technologies.

Singapore's current NEWater production capacity can meet up to 30 per cent of its daily water needs. The first NEWater plants were commissioned in 2002. On National Day that year, bottles of it were handed out at the National Day Parade as part of a PUB campaign to assure people it was safe to drink.

''Water recycling is not a new concept for water managers around the world,'' Mr Chew said in a statement. ''What distinguishes NEWater is the success that we have achieved in building public confidence for indirect potable use.''

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