Water: Some issues and questions?
PUB is a statutory board under the MEWR
The Public Utilities Board (Abbreviation: PUB; Chinese: 公用事业局; Malay: Lembaga Kemudahan Awam) is a statutory board of the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources.
Price not decreasing?
Why is the price not decreasing when Singapore is heading towards self-sufficiency and economies of scale?
Water conservation tax 30 to 45%?
Why is it that we still continue to levy a water conservation tax (implemented in 1991) of 30 per cent on consumers?
The water conservation tax was increased from 10 to 15 per cent decades ago during former finance minister Mr Richard Hu's tenure.
When was it raised further to 30 per cent (45 per cent for consumption above 40 m3)?
Is ours one of the highest water taxes in the world?
U-SAVE for water only?
The PUB's web site states that "Government Grant to help the low-income families, the Government has been providing grants in the form of U-SAVE vouchers to help offset their utility bills, including water expenses. In 2013, a household staying in one to three room flats received an annual U-SAVE voucher of $240 to $260 (or average about $20 to $22 per month), compared to the average water bill of less than $35 a month. This twin approach of conservation and targeted assistance ensures that all Singaporeans have access to affordable, high quality water for the long term."
The above statement may give the erroneous impression that the U-SAVE voucher is enough to pay for about 60 per cent ($21 divided by $35) of water bills, because the U-SAVE voucher is also meant to help pay for the electricity component in utility bills as well.
Singapore uses two separate systems to collect rainwater and used water. Rainwater is collected through a comprehensive network of drains, canals, rivers and storm water collection ponds before it is channelled to Singapore's 17 reservoirs for storage. This makes Singapore one of the few countries in the world to harvest urban storm water on a large scale for its water supply.
The newest reservoirs are Punggol and Serangoon Reservoirs which are our 16th and 17th reservoirs. By 2011, the water catchment area has increased from half to two-thirds of Singapore’s land surface with the completion of the Marina, Punggol and Serangoon reservoirs.
With all the major estuaries already dammed to create reservoirs, PUB aims to harness water from the remaining streams and rivulets near the shoreline using technology that can treat water of varying salinity. This will boost Singapore’s water catchment area to 90% by 2060.
Due to sound watershed management, effective water treatment processes and continued investments in R&D, Singaporeans have been enjoying good quality water for the last four decades.
Singapore’s tap water is well within the World Health Organisation drinking water guidelines, and is suitable for drinking without any further filtration.
Why is it that apparently, the detailed statistics regarding catchment and usage are not available to the public?
$1.03b profits last 5 years?
According to its annual report 2012, its Net income after Grant and after Contribution to GCF (Government Consolidated Fund) and Tax was $97.3 million, and retained earnings were $376.7 million.
Its total Net income after Grant and after Contribution to GCF (Government Consolidated Fund) and Tax was a whopping $1.03 billion, from FY 2007 to FY 2011.
Why is it that after the now infamous remarks when flash floods occurred in Orchard Road a few years ago - "once in 50 years" - flash floods seem to continue unabated as recently as June this year?
Singapore is divided into 3 watershed management catchments for effective drainage management and control. Each catchment is managed by a catchment management team responsible for planning and implementing control strategies to achieve effective drainage within the respective catchment areas.
Implications of NEWater?
Is the implementation of NEWater in any way connected to the increase in PUB bills?
How much are we paying to private companies for NEWater?
The first NEWater plants were opened in Bedok and Kranji in 2003, followed by Ulu Pandan plant in March 2007.
The largest NEWater plant at Changi with a capacity of 50mgd opened in May 2010. With this addition, coupled with the expansion of the existing plants, NEWater now meets 30% of Singapore’s total water demand.
Are we paying more after investing money on resources for recycling into NEWater?
Water is a precious resource and the next available sources of water (NEWater and desalinated water) are more expensive to produce than conventional sources of water (local catchment water and imported water). Hence, the price of water in Singapore is set to reflect its scarcity value – the cost of producing clean water from the next available source after all the rainwater collected had been used.
Is Singapore the worst environmental offender?
A NATIONAL University of Singapore (NUS) study which ranked Singapore as the worst environmental offender among 179 countries has drawn a sharp response from the Government, but its authors are standing by it.
Singapore's headlong rush into developing a modern megalopolis over the last 30 years had taken a terrible toll on its natural environment.
Singapore's rapid development in the last 30 years has seen it lose 90 per cent of its forest, 67 per cent of its birds, about 40 per cent of its mammals and 5 per cent of its amphibians and reptiles.
The negative rating is not the first Singapore has received in environmental studies.
BY: Han Hui Hui and Leong Sze Hian
If Singapore Government’s Statutory Boards can sue Singapore citizens for defamation, you will be sued for defamation as asking question will cast doubt on the credibility and integrity of the PUB as well as the manner in which the PUB conducts its affairs and/or business, giving rise to an imputation that the PUB is dishonest and/or unethical.