Singapore recently cut the ribbon on its fifth wastewater reclamation facility that, together with the four others, has the ability to meet 40% of the county’s total water demand. The new facility reclaims wastewater to produce up to 60 million gallons per day of highly purified reclaimed water, also known as “NEWater” as dubbed by PUB, one of Singapore’s largest public water agencies. Singapore is launching itself to the forefront of innovation by replacing the majority of the country’s non-potable applications with NEWater. 
PUB describes NEWater as a foundational pillar of Singapore’s water management plan. The water reclamation facilities purify wastewater and produce NEWater by pumping it through membranes first and then ultraviolet disinfection. NEWater is primarily used for non-potable demands in industrial processes or cooling purposes. The main consumers of the reclaimed water are wafer fabrication plants, manufacturers that use repeated processes to produce complete electrical circuits such as microchips, and CPUs.  However, NEWater also adds an extra level of resiliency during particularly dry periods through indirect potable reuse. The facilities have the ability to pump NEWater into reservoirs, mixing with raw water to increase drinking water reserves. 
“In the context of rising uncertainties, such as the drying up of Linggiu Reservoir, and rising costs of production and conveyance, we need to take necessary measures to strengthen water supply and sustainability,” says Masagos Zulkifli, Singapore’s Minister for the Environment and Water Resources in a WaterWorld press release. 
Singapore’s NEWater systems have been in the works since the 1970s; however, it was not until 1998 that it really took flight. A successful study solidified the viability of the NEWater strategy, and the first plant was completed in just two years following the study’s completion. While the current NEWater facilities meet 40% of total demand, researchers believe that by 2060, NEWater will produce upwards of 55%. 
The chief executive of PUB, Ng Joo Hee, concluded in the same release, “Used water can always be reclaimed and retreated so that it can be consumed again. Singapore leads the world in this.” 
To read the WaterWorld article, click here.
 WaterWorld. Reclaimed Wastewater Meets 40% of Singapore’s Water Demand. Water World, January 24, 2017. Web. http://www.waterworld.com/articles/wwi/2017/01/reclaimed-wastewater-meets-40-of-singapore-s-water-demand.html  PUB Singapore’s National Water Agency. NEWater. PUB, 2016. Web. https://www.pub.gov.sg/watersupply/fournationaltaps/newater  The Engineered Environment. Water Use in the Semiconductor Manufacturing Industry. The Engineered Environment, August 8, 2013. Web. http://engineeredenvironment.tumblr.com/post/30464844411/water-use-in-the-semiconductor-manufacturing