Industrial water recycling reduces water usage by up to 70 per cent

3rd Quarter 2019

Industrial water recycling reduces water usage by up to 70 per cent

October 2, 2019

Held from 6 to 7 June 2019, the key focus at the Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) Spotlight 2019 was about the best practices and technologies to drive efficient industrial water use and encourage innovative water recycling technologies, as discussed by 17 speakers from local and international companies as well as 265 delegates from 19 countries and regions. This is the first time the Spotlight event is focused on industrial water solutions.

With water demand in the non-domestic sector projected to increase substantially from the current 55 to 70 per cent by 2060, more needs to be done to reduce industrial water consumption. Over the next three years, large water users that are keen to implement water recycling or water conservation solutions within their premises can tap on a funding pool of up to S$26 million. Administered by the Public Utilities Board (PUB), Singapore’s National Water Agency, the three funding schemes—Water Efficiency Fund, Industrial Water Solutions Demonstration Fund, and Living Lab (Water) Fund—aim to support high-impact projects and defray part of the implementation cost of innovative technologies.

PUB hopes to achieve industrial water savings of 3 million gallons per day every year, an equivalent to the water demand of over 25,000 households (based on the typical daily usage of a HDB four-room flat). To date, PUB has facilitated the implementation of 22 projects with savings of over 5 million gallons of water per day. Another 13 projects are expected to be completed within the next two years, bringing water savings to about 8 million gallons per day, or equivalent to the water demand of over 68,000 households. There are 34 projects in the pipeline, which are expected to contribute to an additional 10 million gallons of water savings per day, or the water demand of over 85,000 households.

With suitable treatment, used industrial water, a by-product of manufacturing processes, can be recycled and reclaimed for non-potable uses, such as cooling towers, scrubbers, processes and general cleaning. In fact, the majority of industrial water usage is for cooling and heating processes.

“The recycling rate in large industries is currently around 20 per cent and there is certainly room to increase this number via a greater adoption of technologies. Through the SIWW Spotlight event, we want to encourage more companies to recognise the technical viability of these industrial water solutions and the value of water recycling for their operational sustainability, and proactively seek ways to do so,” shared Ng Joo Hee, chief executive of PUB.

On 7 June 2019, PUB signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ST Engineering, a global technology, defence and engineering group, to develop and leverage digital technologies to enhance PUB’s intelligent water management system and operations.

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