Newater begins flow into reservoirs

NEWATER started flowing into the reservoirs on Friday and could reach homes in three to six months’ time, the Straits Times reported. 

At first, most of the reclaimed water will go to wafer fabrication plants and some commercial buildings in Tampines. 

With a symbolic turn of a giant brass tap by Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong at the Bedok Newater plant, Singapore took a huge step towards being self-sufficient in water. 

And Goh promised that water, which now costs S$1.52 (RM3.34) a cubic metre, would stay under S$2 (RM4.40) per cubic metre for some time. Water tariffs were last raised in 1997 and the next increase was expected to raise them to around S$2. 

But technology advances have trimmed costs. Desalinating seawater is cheaper than was thought; and Newater, even cheaper to produce. 

Newater, Goh said, would have the most profound impact on Singapore’s future water supply. By 2061, when the second of two water agreements with Malaysia expires, Singapore can be totally self-sufficient. 

An expert panel tested Newater for over two years and said it was safe for drinking, even cleaner than Public Utilities Board (PUB) water. 

Then the Government gave the go-ahead to use Newater for drinking. 

Public acceptance had been overwhelming, Goh noted before he toured the plant’s new S$5mil (RM11mil) visitor centre. – The Straits Times/Asia News Network  

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