U.S. Water News Online
SINGAPORE -- The Singapore government will begin
replenishing its reservoirs with water that has been reclaimed from
sewage, the government's Public Utilities Board announced.
Starting from February next year, 1 percent of Singapore's total
daily water consumption will be replenished by adding reclaimed waste
water to the country's natural water reserves, a news release from
the government agency said.
The government will increase the amount of reclaimed water
progressively to about 2.5 percent of the total amount of water used
by 2011, the release said.
This resource-scarce island city-state now buys more than half of
its water from neighboring Malaysia under decades-old treaties which
start expiring in 2011. The issue has sparked occasional spats
between the two over pricing and other issues.
Earlier this month, a second round of Singapore-Malaysia talks
ended without agreement on future water prices. Singapore officials
have since said the country needs to become more self-sufficient in
water, in case a deal with Malaysia cannot be struck.
In July the results of a two-year study -- commissioned by
Singapore's Public Utilities Board -- were released that detailed how
a rigorous filtration process called NEWater would allow waste water
from homes and businesses to be rendered potable and mixed into
According to the study, such processes have been underway in the
United States for at least two decades, with no reported adverse
Since the study was released, the government has spent a great
deal of time and effort getting Singaporeans used to the idea of
NEWater. They have handed out bottles of it at government-sponsored
gatherings and photos of top government leaders enjoying it are
frequently shown in the state-sponsored media.
The reclaimed water -- which has a slightly chlorinated taste --
will be mixed into Singapore's current water supply to replenish the
treated water with natural minerals and trace chemicals leeched out
during the purification process, the release said.
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