NEWater wins UN-Water Best Practices Award

Channel NewsAsia 21 Mar 14;

SINGAPORE: NEWater, Singapore's own brand of recycled water, has won the “Water for Life” United Nations Water (UN-Water) Best Practices Award 2014.

It clinched the award for its public communications and education efforts.

Conferred annually by UN-Water, the award aims to promote efforts to fulfil international commitments made on water and water-related issues by 2015 through recognising outstanding best practices that can ensure the long-term sustainable management of water resources.

In a statement on Friday, national water agency PUB said NEWater was awarded the prize under the "best participatory, communication, awareness-raising and education practices" category.

PUB Chief Executive Chew Men Leong received the award during a special ceremony held in commemoration of World Water Day 2014 in Tokyo, Japan earlier on Friday.

PUB said key to the successful introduction of NEWater in Singapore is the campaign to garner public confidence and acceptance.

It rolled out a public campaign about the stringent production process, assuring the public that NEWater was safe to drink and correcting any misconceptions about water reclamation.

It engaged various stakeholders, including politicians, opinion leaders, water experts, grassroots leaders, schools, businesses and the man in the street.

NEWater is one of the four sources of water under the “Four National Taps” strategy, which also includes local catchment water, imported water and desalinated water.

It was pioneered by PUB in 2003.

PUB said NEWater has passed more than 100,000 scientific tests and exceeds the drinking water standards set by the World Health Organisation and the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

It is used primarily for non-potable purposes at wafer fabrication parks, industrial estates and commercial buildings, though a small amount is also blended with raw reservoir water before undergoing treatment at the waterworks for the water supply.

PUB said NEWater can currently meet 30 per cent of Singapore's daily water needs, and its capacity will be increased to meet up to 55 per cent of Singapore's future water demand by 2060.

- CNA/xq

UN Award for Newater
Grace Chua The Straits Times AsiaOne 24 Mar 14;

SINGAPORE - 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 last Friday.

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

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."