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Alternative Water Solutions, Space Constraints Priorities for Asia’s Water Leaders

Matt Ball on July 11, 2016 - in Corporate, Design/Engineering, Water

Singapore, July 11, 2016—Modern Asian cities are investing in alternative water supply facilities to allay global warming uncertainties and resolve space constraints issues, according to the Asian findings from Black & Veatch’s 2016 Strategic Directions: Water Industry Report.

“There is a focus in Asia towards more resilient solutions that are independent of climate change and rainfall such as desalination and reuse,” said Cindy Wallis-Lage, President of Black & Veatch’s water business. “The high cost of land is complicating matters for Asian cities but this challenge is driving innovation from rethinking underground spaces to adopting new membrane solutions that reduce a plant’s footprint.”

Black & Veatch conducted a number of in-depth interviews with water leaders in the region. Five key findings were identified:

  1. There is a growing acceptance of alternative water supply solutions. Hong Kong is planning its first modern desalination plant at Tseung Kwan O and Singapore continues to build a diversified and sustainable water supply evidenced by projects such as Changi NEWater II and Singapore’s fourth desalination plant in Marina East which are under development.
  2. Infrastructure systems are being planned to be synergistic and yield greater environmental benefits. This is reflected in the planning for the next phase of Singapore’s used water management infrastructure, the Deep Tunnel Sewerage System (DTSS). DTSS Phase 2 will see the co-location of the National Environment Agency’s Integrated Waste Management Facility alongside Singapore national water agency PUB’s Tuas Water Reclamation Plant to reap the benefits of energy and resource recovery synergies, such as sharing water, biogas and electricity between the facilities.
  3. Cities in Asia are exploring ways to optimize limited, high value land. Many utilities are looking to retrofit existing water facilities with new technologies to optimize the space and increase the output capacity. The high cost of land is also leading to the development of cavern reservoirs in Hong Kong and projects like the DTSS will result in a 50 percent reduction in land taken up by used water infrastructure once it is fully completed.
  4. Rethinking underground spaces is another strategy identified by Asian cities. Singapore’s PUB is studying the feasibility of developing an integrated underground drainage and water reservoir system while underground storage tanks are being used as flood mitigation solutions in Hong Kong.
  5. Integrated city planning yields greater collaboration between government departments. To drive these water projects, cities are rethinking the synergies between government departments. Hong Kong’s Total Water Management programme and Singapore’s Active, Beautiful, Clean Waters (ABC Waters) Programme are regional examples of such inter-departmental collaboration.

Findings conclude that through multifaceted projects and rethinking existing resources, Asian cities are addressing the pressures of growing populations, improved economies and a rising middle class on their water supplies and improving the resilience of their water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure.

About Black & Veatch

Black & Veatch is an employee-owned, global leader in building critical human infrastructure in Energy, Water, Telecommunications and Government Services. Since 1915, we have helped our clients improve the lives of people in over 100 countries through consulting, engineering, construction, operations and program management. Our revenues in 2014 were US$3 billion. Follow us on www.bv.com

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