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S'pore can meet water needs despite dry spell: Dr Balakrishnan

Singapore will be able to meet its water needs despite the current dry spell, said Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan on a Facebook post on Thursday.

SINGAPORE: Singapore will be able to meet its water needs despite the current dry spell, said Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan on a Facebook post on Thursday.

He said that he had been asked by many people recently about the current dry spell and its implications on the country's water security.

Dr Balakrishnan said that Singapore has been experiencing an unusually dry phase of the Northeast Monsoon since mid-January.

And he said that similar dry periods have occurred before -- most recently in early 2010.

But global climate change has brought greater weather volatility, with increased chances of both more intense storms and unpredictable periods of drought.

Dr Balakrishnan said in his Facebook post that the PUB has been running Singapore's desalination and NEWater plants at close to full capacity.

"Our two desalination plants have a combined output of 100 million gallons per day (mgd) and can meet 25 per cent of our water needs.

“Over the last two weeks, PUB has also injected an additional 20 to 25 mgd of NEWater into the reservoirs for indirect potable use, and this amount will be increased to about 30mgd next week," he added.

Dr Balakrishnan explained that the objective is to keep water reserves in the reservoirs at healthy levels.

"Fortunately, our major investments in NEWater and desalination over the years have diversified our sources of water supply and strengthened our water security," he added.

He said that the Northeast Monsoon typically lasts until early March, and while Singapore can be confident of meeting its water needs, he urged Singaporeans to remember that every drop of water is precious.

He encouraged people to continue to practise good water-saving habits and avoid unnecessary consumption, and to make every drop count. 

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