Following the news of a water-tariff hike, the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli assures that Singapore government will ensure that the country remains cost-competitive, even with the planned water-tariff hike.
He further emphasised that efforts to enhance water efficiency in the industrial and commercial sectors will be key as these large users are expected to account for the bulk of the country’s growth in demand for water until 2060.
At an industry consultation session on managing demand for water, he said, “While we need to increase our (water) price, we are also mindful that we have to be competitive globally.
“This is one of the benchmarks (national water agency) PUB puts to itself – to ensure that while it needs to recover its costs, it cannot do so by sacrificing the competitiveness of Singapore or future industries to come.”
This was in response to concerns that Singapore might “out-price” itself in water relative to other countries, and lose its appeal as an investment destination.
A government representative at the recent industry consultation session also said that the need to maintain Singapore’s competitiveness was the reason water prices have not been raised till now, although more NEWater was pumped into the reservoirs to boost their levels in 2014.
According to AsiaOne, NEWater, a high-grade reclaimed water that has been purified and disinfected, costs more to produce.