Singapore is a small island nation with limited natural water resources. To ensure its water security, the government has placed a lot of emphasis on water management. Beginning with collecting rainwater in the local catchments, PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency, has continued seeking ways to secure other reliable and sustainable water sources through investments in research and technology. This has led to two additional sources of water, NEWater (a high-grade reclaimed water) and desalinated water, which also contributed to closing Singapore’s water loop. Together, these diversified water supplies form the nation’s “Four National Taps". Today, Singapore is internationally recognised as a model city for integrated water management and an emerging Global Hydrohub – a leading centre for business opportunities and expertise in water technologies.
Having successfully closed the water loop, PUB is also looking to close its resource loops by working towards waste and carbon circularity as sustainability has always been at the core of its work. Within PUB, two major waste streams are sludge generated from its water and used water treatment plants. To reduce the amount of sludge sent to incineration, PUB has begun to explore gasification and pyrolysis of the sludge. The slag and biochar produced are then turned into useful products such as construction materials and activated carbon. On carbon circularity, PUB has set a target to achieve net zero emissions by mid-century and has been actively seeking innovative solutions to reduce its carbon footprint. It has put in place a three-pronged strategy to support the realisation of this goal: (1) replace carbon-based energy sources, (2) reduce carbon emissions and (3) remove carbon through capture and utilisation.
Dr. Pang Chee Meng is the Chief Engineering and Technology Officer of PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency. He leads PUB’s Technology Department to administer its R&D program for the development and application of new water technologies.
Prior to his current role, Chee Meng was the Director of the Industry and Technology Collaboration Department. He led a team to formulate and implement strategies to grow Singapore’s water industry and facilitate the commercialisation of new water technologies. Chee Meng has experience in used water treatment and water-policy development and was actively involved in the development of water-related standards in Singapore and in various international subcommittees that developed new ISO standards for water reuse.