Written reply by Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, to Parliamentary Question on Water Supply, on 4 June 2020
Mr Seah Kian Peng: To ask the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources (a) whether he can assure Singaporeans that our water supply is adequate and that the water plants are continuing to run at full capacity; and (b) what is the percentage of staff at these water plants who are on telecommuting and whether this compromises the quality of our water supply.
1 Singapore enjoys a diversified and robust supply of water, due to years of continued planning and investments in our water infrastructure. Water from local catchment and imported water, together with weather-resilient sources namely NEWater and desalinated water, make up Singapore’s “Four National Taps”.
2 Under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020, the supply of water was amongst the essential services allowed to operate during the Circuit Breaker period. Since early February 2020, PUB has activated business continuity plans to ensure that all our water plants continue to operate as per normal.
3 PUB has implemented Safe Management Measures in accordance to the Ministry of Manpower’s guidelines at the plants and work sites. These include regular temperature screenings, physical spacing of at least 1m between persons at all times and wearing of masks. PUB has also stepped up the cleaning of work sites to ensure that equipment shared between different employees across different shifts or teams are cleaned and disinfected at the end of each shift. In addition, PUB has staggered working and lunch hours, and implemented split team arrangements to reduce congregation of our employees.
4 As part of its comprehensive water sampling and monitoring programme, PUB has also continued to collect and test water samples from our reservoirs, waterworks distribution systems to customers’ taps daily. The quality of our drinking water continues to comply with the Environmental Public Health (Water Suitable for Drinking) Regulations 2019 and are well within the World Health Organisation (WHO) Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality.
5 Singaporeans can be assured that they will continue to enjoy good quality drinking water from the tap during this period. I thank PUB officers for their continued dedication especially during the Circuit Breaker period.