Water Management Taskforce

Introduction

NUS Water Management Task Force (WMTF) was set up in October 2015 to enhance optimal water usage in campus. Through various management strategies, the task force ensure reduction in reliance on potable water. The task force representatives comprise of staff from facilities management, student residences and campus infrastructure.

WMTF aims to :

  • Reduce water consumption by 20% by FY2020 (from base year of FY2012)
  • Create water saving awareness and culture across all sectors in NUS.

Some of the key strategies include:

To progressively introduce the highest Water Efficient Buildings standards for new buildings, and introduce water recycling, storm water collection, and other water efficient features for cooling plant and systems for new projects.

Through sub-metering and regular review of buildings consumption, as well as introducing more water efficient washing methods and scheduled checks to monitor and manage leakages and water consumption.

Water Efficient Building (WEB) Certification & Water Efficient Tap fittings

These water-efficiency labelled fittings are used in all water points in new buildings and have progressively replaced older fittings for renovated buildings.

Progressive replacement of full-flush valves with dual-flush (half and full) were carried out at all toilets that are undergoing improvement or facility renewal works. To-date, about 1,680 toilets had been installed with dual-flush valves.

NUS has aligned ourselves with public sector requirements, where the minimum of WEB Basic Certification and respective flow rates/flush volumes are to be achieved.

By installing water efficient fittings and adjusting to the WEB recommended flow rates and flush volumes, savings of about 5% of monthly consumption can be achieved.

NUS obtained campus-wide WEB certification on 16 January 2017. This includes 4 campuses (KRC, UTown, YNC & BTC) and Duke-NUS consisting a total of 202 buildings.

Water Efficiency Management Plan (WEMP)

Since January 2015, the University is required to submit an annual Water Efficiency Management Plan (WEMP), under Part IVA of the Public Utilities (Water Supply) Regulations applicable to organisations with water consumption of at least 60,000m3. Since adopting the plan, the University has been able to:

  • Methodologically understand the breakdown of water usage in its premises and develop a Water Balance Chart
  • Identify areas to further reduce consumption and raise efficiency
  • Establish an action plan which identifies measures in water savings, priorities and implementation timelines

The areas of focus for the university and cooling and dormitory use, which is dependent on engagement and commitment from the Office of Housing Services and resident student population.

Upgrading of Chiller Plants

As more air-conditioning chiller plants are being upgraded and consolidated, the associated cooling towers are also being reduced. These more energy-efficient chiller plants will not only deliver electricity savings for the university, they will help save up to 20% of the water usage for the cooling towers.

Recycling Condensate Water

Storage tanks at MD6 basement and AS8 recycle condensate from the AHUs (Air Handling Units) in the buildings and are backup by NEWater supply. This water is re-used as make-up water for the centralised chiller plants’ cooling towers.

This recycling effort helps NUS to save an average of 180,000m3 or 180,000,000 litres of NEWater annually, which is equivalent to the volume of 72 Olympic sized swimming pools.

Smart Water Network

SMART-CENSAM* have installed a wireless sensor network for monitoring the potable water distribution system at NUS.  The network currently comprises 11 nodes where sensors continuously monitor the hydraulic and water quality conditions in the water pipes. The real-time data helps NUS to improve the management and operation of its water distribution systems.  Data from the smart sensor network is also available for academic education and research projects – enabling projects on the application of online monitoring data, and the operation and performance of the water distribution systems. The system is maintained by the Office of Facilities Management.

Note: *, The Center for Environmental Sensing and Modeling (CENSAM) is an interdisciplinary research group of the Singapore MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) centre.​

SS577:2012 Water Efficiency Management System (WEMS) Certification

In March 2018, NUS obtained certification for SS577:2012 Water Efficiency Management System (WEMS). The main objective of WEMS is to strengthen NUS commitment to water saving by aligning all sectors to water savings action plans and targets, thereby becoming more water efficient operationally. The principles of WEMS are:

Reduce

Putting in place action plans, programs and monitoring programs, use of water efficient fittings, equipment and leak detection.

Replace

Substitution of Potable Water with NEWater and rainwater where feasible for non-potable use.

Reuse

Treatment of process water, greywater etc. for non-potable use