PUB's Newater wins UN award for outreach

PUB's Newater wins UN award for outreach
PUB Chief Executive Chew Men Leong giving an acceptance speech at the ‘Water for Life’ United Nations Water (UN-Water) Best Practices Award 2014 in Tokyo, Japan.

PUB chief executive Chew Men Leong received the 'Water for Life' United Nations Water (UN-Water) Best Practices 2014 award in the participatory, communication, awareness-raising and education practices category, during a special ceremony held in commemoration of World Water Day 2014 in Tokyo, Japan on Friday morning.


Get the full story from The Straits Times.

Here is the full statement from PUB:

NEWater's comprehensive public communications and education programme is being recognised by UN-Water for building public confidence and acceptance in NEWater.

NEWater, Singapore's own brand of recycled water has won the 'Water for Life' United Nations Water (UN-Water) Best Practices Award 2014 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 recognition of outstanding best practices that can ensure the long-term sustainable management of water resources. 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 today.

"The Jury of the 'Water for Life' UN-Water Best Practices Award has recognised NEWater for its strong social component and enduring partnerships in its manifold and remarkable water management practices contributing to Singapore's water sustainability", said Ms. Josefina Maestu, Director of UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication.

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 today.

"The Jury of the 'Water for Life' UN-Water Best Practices Award has recognised NEWater for its strong social component and enduring partnerships in its manifold and remarkable water management practices contributing to Singapore's water sustainability", said Ms. Josefina Maestu, Director of UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication.

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

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. By allowing every drop of water to be used and re-used, it creates a multiplier effect, and is therefore a much more sustainable source of water than increasing catchment areas to collect rainwater, a luxury in land-scarce urban Singapore.

Key to the successful introduction of NEWater in Singapore is the campaign to garner public confidence and acceptance. Learning from previous case studies and recognising that the main challenge would be in gaining public confidence and support for NEWater, PUB had, from the outset, embarked on a public campaign to educate the population on the stringent production process, assured them that NEWater was safe to drink and correct any misconceptions about water reclamation. It did so by engaging its stakeholders, which includes the media, politicians, opinion leaders, water experts, grassroots leaders, schools, businesses and the man in the street.

"Water recycling is not a new concept for water managers around the world. What distinguishes NEWater is the success that we have achieved in building public confidence for indirect potable use. This is part of an overall strategy that has the objective of changing the mindset of the population, stressing a new approach to water management by communicating to the public the need to look at water as a renewable resource that could be used over and over again," said Mr Chew Men Leong.

"The value of NEWater lies in its capability to strengthen water supply resilience, especially against weather extremities like the recent dry spell we experienced in Singapore," added Mr Chew.

More about

Purchase this article for republication.

BRANDED CONTENT

SPONSORED CONTENT

Your daily good stuff - AsiaOne stories delivered straight to your inbox
By signing up, you agree to our Privacy policy and Terms and Conditions.