There is no need for water rationing in Singapore for now, if a lid is kept on demand and consumption, said Environment and Water Resources Minister Vivian Balakrishnan. But he added that if demand continues to increase, then he will have to "re-evaluate the adequacy of current plans".
SINGAPORE: There is no need for water rationing in Singapore for now, if a lid is kept on demand and consumption.
Environment and Water Resources Minister Vivian Balakrishnan made this point in Parliament on Friday to a question on the country's water resilience.
Dr Balakrishnan said there will be "no operational need for rationing" in the foreseeable future.
He said: "From our latest water demand figures, we are currently consuming about 420 million gallons a day. Now if the demand figure continues to increase then certainly, I will have to re-evaluate the adequacy of our current plans."
Singapore has been experiencing a dry spell since January.
There has been concern about the possibility of a water rationing exercise.
So far desalination and NEWater sources have helped.
Dr Balakrishnan said they are a reminder today that Singapore can be resilient against a dry spell.
The PUB has stepped up desalination to full capacity of 100 million gallons a day.
NEWater production has also been raised to more than 100 million gallons a day, for industrial use and to top up the country's reservoirs by 35 million gallons a day.
Dr Balakrishnan said that is why Singapore is able to "keep the reservoir stock at a healthy level despite the lack of rain".
He said: "It's sobering to bear in mind that all this additional capacity has only come about in the last decade. In fact, the most recent desalination plant which added 70 million gallons a day only came online six months ago."
He added imported water remains an essential part of the country's water supply.
Dr Balakrishnan also pointed to Singapore's S$300-million investment in the Johor River Linggui Dam project.
This has enabled the river to increase its yield and allow both Singapore and Malaysia to draw water from it even during dry weather.
He said: "All these additional investments have been a premium that we have paid for greater security and diversity of our water supply.”
To further raise public awareness, Dr Balakrishnan says he is seriously considering a water rationing exercise - as a rehearsal - so Singaporeans know what to do during an actual event.