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Price of water, unchanged since 2000, not due for an adjustment: MEWR

Given the current state of technology and energy prices, there is no need for an adjustment of water prices at this point, said Minister of the Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan.

SINGAPORE: There is currently no need for an adjustment for the price of water in Singapore, said Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan on Monday (Aug 17).

The price of water has remained unchanged since 2000, and this is as improvements in membrane technology and productivity have helped defray the rise in costs of labour and equipment, said Dr Balakrishnan.

"We should bear in mind that desalination and recycling water are energy-intensive processes. Hence, the key variable for the future is the price of energy. Nonetheless, given the current state of technology and energy prices, there is no need for an adjustment at this point," he added.

Dr Balakrishnan said this in a written response to a question by Marine Parade GRC MP Seah Kian Peng, who asked about the governing principles used in determining the rates for water and electricity, and about the long-term marginal cost of water.

"The price of potable water in Singapore is pegged to the Long Run Marginal Cost (LRMC) of producing desalinated water and NEWater," said the minister. "Desalination and recycling are the main source of the next available drop of water given our shortage of land. Consequently, the water tariff and Water Conservation Tax reflect the true scarcity value of water."