Singapore could be hit as Linggiu Reservoir levels reach new low

Singapore may have to restrict water use if water stock at the reservoir does not recover, says Masagos

NEO CHAI CHIN Today Online 13 Nov 15;

SINGAPORE — The reservoir that enables Singapore to reliably draw water from the Johor River has hit another all-time low, dipping to 43 per cent from 54.5 per cent in August.

Posting on Facebook tonight (Nov 13) after he visited the Linggiu Reservoir this morning, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli urged Singaporeans to conserve water and said restrictions could kick in if the reservoir’s water stock does not recover. If restrictions kick in, the use of water for non-critical activities such as washing of cars, water fountains and watering of plants could be curbed.

“Water rationing exercises are already ongoing in many parts of Johor. If the dry weather continues, it will eventually also affect us,” wrote Mr Masagos.

The historic low of 43 per cent in Linggiu’s 20-year history is due to low rainfall over its catchment area in the past year, said Mr Masagos, whose trip to Linggiu comes only three months after his predecessor Vivian Balakrishnan visited the reservoir with reporters.

The reservoir, near Kota Tinggi, helps prevent saltwater intrusion from the sea into Johor River when it releases water. Saltwater cannot be treated by the water plant further downstream from the reservoir, and Johor River supplies up to 60 per cent of Singapore’s daily water needs. Singapore is allowed to draw up to 250 million gallons per day from the river.

In the first 10 months of the year, national water agency PUB has been temporarily unable to draw water from the Johor River on about 100 occasions, due to saltwater intrusion caused by tide levels, said a spokesperson.

Mr Masagos was hopeful that more rain would fall over Linggiu Reservoir’s catchment area, with the Northeast Monsoon expected sometime next month. He has asked PUB to provide another update on the situation when the monsoon sets in, he said.

For now, no water restrictions or water rationing is necessary, said the PUB. Besides importing from Johor, Singapore also gets its water from NEWater, desalination and local catchment areas. The Linggiu Reservoir is built and operated by Singapore but owned by the State of Johor.

When asked, PUB said it is still supplying more potable water to Johor at the state authorities’ request. Singapore is supplying up to 22 million gallons of potable water per day — 5 to 6 million more than before — amid dry weather that has affected the water supply of Johor, which has had to conduct water rationing. PUB had announced on Aug 20 that it was temporarily supplying more potable water to Johor, from the Johor River Waterworks it operates.


Johor's Linggiu Reservoir water levels drop to historic low: Masagos
"If the water stock in Linggiu Reservoir does not recover, we may have to do more to conserve water, including restricting the use of water for non-critical activities," says the Environment and Water Resources Minister.
Channel NewsAsia 13 Nov 15;

SINGAPORE: Water levels at Johor's Linggiu Reservoir have dropped to a new historic low of 43 per cent, said Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli, who visited the reservoir on Friday (Nov 13).

This is down from an earlier low of 55 per cent, which the previous Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan said was "unprecedented".

The PUB-run Linggiu Reservoir regulates the flow from Johor River, which is where Singapore extracts water for treatment and supply. In a Facebook post, Mr Masagos said that while Singapore can still draw 250 millions of gallons of water per day from the Johor River on most days, the low rainfall has affected both Singapore and Johor's water supply.

"Water rationing exercises are already ongoing in many parts of Johor. If the dry weather continues, it will eventually also affect us, " he added.

"If the water stock in Linggiu Reservoir does not recover, we may have to do more to conserve water, including restricting the use of water for non-critical activities such as washing of cars, operations of water fountains and watering of plants," Mr Masagos added.

He has asked PUB to give him another update on the water situation in December when the monsoon season sets in. In the meantime, he urged all Singaporeans to do their part to conserve precious water.
Last month, Mr Masagos said that in light of drier conditions in the region, the Republic needs to better manage its water usage, despite having a sustainable water supply from its Four National Taps. He also said the total water demand in Singapore is expected to double by 2060.








Water level in Linggiu Reservoir drops to record low: Masagos
Janice Heng, Straits Times AsiaOne 14 Nov 15;

The water level in Johor's Linggiu Reservoir has dropped to a historic low and Singapore's water supply could be affected if the dry weather continues, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli said in a Facebook post last night.

Due to low rainfall, the water level in Linggiu Reservoir has dropped from 55 per cent in August to 43 per cent now, said Mr Masagos, who was at the reservoir yesterday morning. The Linggiu Reservoir regulates the flow of Johor River, from which Singapore and Johor draw water for treatment.

Mr Masagos noted that although Singapore can still draw 250 mgd - millions of gallons per day - from the Johor River "on most days", the low rainfall has affected both Singapore and Johor's water supply.

"Water rationing exercises are already ongoing in many parts of Johor. If the dry weather continues, it will eventually also affect us," he added.

He hopes that the annual northeast monsoon will bring more rain over the Linggiu Reservoir catchment area. "I have asked PUB to give me another update on the water situation in December, when the monsoon sets in."

Singapore's strategy of diversifying its water supply "has served us well", said Mr Masagos.

The PUB has been running desalination and Newater plants at high capacity to keep local reservoir stocks healthy. But if the water stock in Linggiu Reservoir does not recover, Singapore may have to do more to conserve water, such as restricting water use for non-critical activities such as washing cars, water fountains and watering plants, he said.

The Minister also urged all Singaporeans to do their part to conserve water.

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