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New desalination technologies to increase water supply in Singapore

Singapore has been testing new desalination technologies which have the potential to increase water supply at lower cost, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Yaacob Ibrahim said in Parliament Tuesday.

The membrane distillation technology uses waste heat released by incineration plant to boil sea water and collect the water vapor. The salt content in water produced this way can be reduced by 1,000 times while energy consumption is three times less than that used in reverse osmosis, Channel NewsAsia report said.

A demonstration plant is expected to be built next year if a pilot project using this technology goes well.

Another technology, the variable salinity system, can turn water from the sea, river, stream as well as rain water into potable water. A demonstration plant will be completed by the end of this year.

"Singapore can be self-sufficient beyond 2061," said Ibrahim, referring to the four national taps, including water from local catchment, imported water from Malaysia, NEWater and desalinated water, which will be enough to sustain the city state's growth and development.

Singapore's National Research Foundation identified environmental and water technologies as one of the strategic research and development (R&D) areas earlier this year.


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