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Five companies and schools received the water excellence ‘Watermark Awards 2018’

Five companies and schools received the water excellence ‘Watermark Awards 2018’

Five companies and schools have clinched the top honors for their commitment in the water excellence journey and will receive the Watermark Awards 2018 水源成就奖 – the nation’s highest accolade for outstanding achievements in water efficiency and conservation of water resources in Singapore.

“The winners are Singapore Refining Company Private Limited, United Microelectronics Corporation (Singapore branch), Carlton City Hotel Singapore, Qifa Primary School and Chung Cheng High School (Main).“, said PUB in a press release.

All five winners share a strong commitment to contribute, protect and raise awareness of Singapore’s precious water resources. They have introduced various initiatives to ensure the efficient use of water in their premises. They will now join the ranks of 60 past Watermark Awards winners that have distinguished themselves in water efficiency (demonstrating sustained efforts in the efficient use of water), innovativeness (incorporating new initiatives to reduce water use or promote water recycling) and advocacy (educating others and raising awareness of water conservation).

Building Operational Capabilities to Improve Water Efficiency

Non-domestic water demand is projected to increase from 55% of our current water demand to 70% of our future water demand by 2060.  PUB will progressively develop water efficiency benchmarks and guidelines of good practices for different sectors. This is to help the industry, especially the large water users (i.e. those consuming 60,000 mor more a year), better manage their water use and improve water efficiency.

Earlier this year, PUB has launched the first ‘Best Practice Guide for Water Efficiency – Buildings’. The ‘Best Practice Guides’ for the wafer fabrication and semiconductor sector, and the refineries, petrochemicals, and chemicals sector will be launched later this year.

“The Watermark Awards winners are our Water Champions and our closest advocates as they share PUB’s vision in ensuring a sustainable supply of water for Singapore.  Amidst the threat of climate change today, it becomes even more crucial for every individual and organisation to be more conscious of water as a scarce resource and use it wisely.  As we celebrate the achievements of the winning organisations, we hope that they will inspire other organisations to explore further ways to bring about greater water efficiency and water savings in their operations. We believe the Best Practices guides will serve as useful resources for the industry to strive for higher water efficiency,” said Mr Ng Joo Hee, Chief Executive, PUB.

Watermark Awards Winners 2018

Singapore Refining Company Private Limited – Achieving water efficiency in an energy-producing sector

Singapore Refining Company Private Limited

Located on Jurong Island, Singapore Refining Company Private Limited (SRC) operates a refinery that is capable of processing 290,000 barrels of crude oil daily. The refinery produces mainly fuel products which are distributed locally and exported overseas.

Following a water audit that was carried out to identify streams for recycling, SRC decided to build an on-site effluent treatment recycling plant (ETRP). Through ceramic microfiltration and reverse osmosis, removing suspended solids, oil, grease and other contaminants from the treated used water, the ETRP improves the water quality to NEWater standards for recycling purposes. The recycled water is then reused in processes within SRC. The plant currently operates at 2,000m3/day, and can meet approximately 20% of SRC’s NEWater demand. SRC’s recycling rate is at 40%.

Other waters saving initiatives implemented by SRC include: maximizing the reuse of treated effluent water internally; maximizing the use of seawater and fin fan coolers for cooling; closed circulation cooling water or tempered cooler; steam trap surveillance and close monitoring of water consumption.

“The Singapore Refining Company is committed to meeting Singapore’s objective of reducing fresh water consumption and creating NEWater-grade water for our industrial use. Our water conservation solutions aim to reduce our overall water consumption, identify streams for recycling and capitalize on existing facilities to improve operational efficiency. We are pleased to be recognized for our water conservation efforts and appreciate PUB’s ongoing support,” said Mr. Eso Thomas, Deputy General Manager and Deputy Chief Executive Officer of SRC.

United Microelectronics Corporation (Singapore Branch) – Water recycling drives water efficiency

United Microelectronics Corporation (Singapore Branch)

United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC) (Singapore Branch) is a global semiconductor foundry that provides advanced Integrated Circuit production for applications spanning every major sector of the electronics industry.

Committed to environmental protection and water consumption reduction, and as a responsible corporate towards the community and the environment, UMC has the second highest water recycling rates in the wafer fabrication sector in Singapore at 61%, while the average for this sector is around 42%. UMC’s implementation of the second rinse recycling is commendable and has helped contribute to the high recycling rate.  In 2015, the company built a Hydrofluoric (HF) wastewater treatment plant to treat its wastewater to required standards. Other water saving measures implemented by UMC include: recycling Air Handling Unit condensate water and use of recycled water at local scrubber systems.

“UMC has a detailed plan on the use of water in all our process, which includes recovering water for reuse and managing water efficiently. In 2015, UMC set a target to reduce our water usage by 10% over 5 years. We are on track to meet our corporate target and in 2016, we had achieved an increase in the amount of recycled water by 2% or 22 million imperial gallons of water,” said Mr Johnson Liu, Assistant Vice President, UMC (Singapore branch).

Carlton City Hotel Singapore – Hotel with a difference

Carlton City Hotel Singapore

Located in the central business district, Carlton City Hotel Singapore is a 29-storey hotel with 386 guest rooms. Between 2014 and 2016, Carlton City Hotel Singapore has seen a drop of about 4,233min water consumption. The hotel recovers condensate water from the Air Handling Units and reuses it for the cooling towers. Its remote monitoring system, coupled with a prompt maintenance regime, provides good preventive measures for possible water wastage. The hotel also installed three-ticks-rated fittings in their guestrooms and common area toilets, under PUB’s Mandatory Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme (MWELS).

The “blue” philosophy adopted by the hotel extends to its guests. The hotel places message cards in rooms to encourage hotel guests to reuse their linens and towels, thus saving water used for laundry. Water conservation posters are also displayed prominently within the staff compound (toilets, kitchens and staff canteen) to promote good water-saving habits. Currently, their WEI index at 0.45 m3/occupied guest room/day is within the top 10th percentile.

“As a Green Mark Platinum hotel, Carlton City Hotel Singapore hopes to push the green envelope by combining water conservation efforts and luxurious hospitality. Eco-consciousness is a natural route to take; we encourage and educate our staff and guests to be part of the movement in every little way. The hotel was fitted with water efficiency fixtures right from the beginning. By utilising the hardware we already have, the most important step was to send the message to the staff and guests. Education is key – from the posters and newsletters to participating in green events such as Earth Hour, it was about creating the mindset of doing our part as a citizen of the world,” said Darren Ware, General Manager, Carlton City Hotel Singapore.

Qifa Primary School – Water stewardship beyond school’s boundaries

Qifa Primary School

Qifa Primary School believes in a holistic and whole school approach in cultivating environmental and water conservation amongst its students.

With a cohort of slightly more than 1,300 students, the school rallies its entire population – from students, teaching and non-teaching staff to vendors to report leaky pipes and water wastage as soon as possible to prevent unnecessary water wastage. To further reduce water consumption, the school uses self-closing delayed action taps and replaced liquid soap with foam soap as less water is required to rinse off foam, as compared to liquid soap. The school regularly monitors its water use by checking the meter reading for any sudden surge in consumption.

Beyond cultivating a population of students who save water, Qifa Primary School understands the importance of spreading the message beyond the school compound and involving the students in hands-on activities to reinforce their learning. Handmade bookmarks carrying water conservation messages were given to students for them to spread the word with their families and neighbours. Its students also performed a skit on electricity and water conservation at community events to raise public awareness.

To reinforce learning, the school launched an interesting project for its Primary 5 students last year. Titled “Water is Precious”, the students went on a learning journey to NEWater Visitor Centre and held in-depth discussions on how NEWater contributes to the nation’s water sustainability. The Primary 5 students were then tasked to track their household’s water bills for three months and raise awareness on water conservation to their family members. This culminated in a presentation of their findings where they shared on the water situation in Singapore and innovative ways to conserve water in schools.

“Qifa Primary is honoured to receive the Watermark Awards 2018 after we were presented with the Water Efficiency Awards last year. This is an affirmation of the efforts of all the Qifa stakeholders as we play our part towards water conservation and sustainability efforts in Singapore. One of the outcomes in Qifa’s mission statement is to develop “socially responsible citizens” such as encouraging pupils and staff to play their part in caring for the environment. Moving forward, we will continue our efforts to get buy-in from all our stakeholders to play a part towards water conservation and sustainability in Singapore. We recognise this is best achieved by touching their hearts and not just filling their minds so that after understanding ‘why’, they ask ‘what’ they need to do and ‘how’ to go about it”, said Mrs May Wong-Tan, Principal, Qifa Primary School.

Chung Cheng High School (Main) – A collective effort to save water

Chung Cheng High School (Main)

Chung Cheng High School (Main) is a firm believer in environmental education and resource conservation and water is a resource that should be used wisely as it has a long term impact on the environmental sustainability of Singapore.

Harnessing the collective efforts of students, staff and parents, the school sends regular reminders to staff and cleaners on water conservation and holds an annual briefing to estate management staff and cleaners on their roles in water consumption.

The school has a water efficiency management system implemented in accordance with the requirements in Singapore Standard SS 577, including a systematic process of monitoring water consumption, review the effectiveness of water saving measures taken, communicating and creating awareness on the importance of water conservation to staff and students, and initiating measures to reduce water consumption within the school. To maintain its status as a water-efficient building, Chung Cheng High School (Main) has a fault-reporting system that encourages the staff and students to report faulty water fittings or leaks promptly. All taps in the school premise are self-closing to minimise wastage of water. The use of high pressure water jet is limited to only the washing of key common areas such as exterior basketball courts and walkways, hence saving the school about 50 to 80 litres of water every month.

“In Chung Cheng, we adopt a school-wide approach towards water conservation.  Communication is a key factor to ensure success.  Water saving posters are displayed in all toilets, water coolers and washing basins.  Every year, we also share with our staff, cleaners, students and even security guards on the importance of water conservation.  It is important that everyone knows what they can do to help reduce water consumption for the school.  We do not want to save water just to save money.  We save water to make a positive impact to everyone’s lives and to do our part in helping the nation to conserve water,” said Mr Boh Hong Jik, Vice Principal (Admin), Chung Cheng High School (Main).

AM Lee

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