In Singapore, water has always been its most precious commodity. Surrounded by the salty sea, conflicts with neighboring water-rich countries and unable to sustain itself with its limited freshwater supply, Singapore has to constantly search for innovative new methods to solve this water issue.
On the 19th of March, GE Water and the National University of Singapore (NUS) signed a SGD$150 million (US$100 million) contract to establish the NUS-GE Singapore Water Technology Centre. This centre will be fully operational in mid-2009. This 2,700 m¬2 centre will be the research hub for development of low-energy seawater desalination, water reclamation and reuse technologies.
This would go far to alleviate water problems in many regions in China (such as the Heihe River which is undergoing desertification), India and Middle East. Today, 1.1 billion people are not receiving safe drinking water. In another two decades, this problem would worsen to 2.8 billion people.
Prof. Barry Halliwell, the Deputy President (Research & Technology) of NUS commented, “Leveraging the research efforts of both NUS and GE will enable us to further address one of the world’s most pressing challenges and will enhance the educational reach of the university into all sectors of global water issues.”
Heiner Markhoff, president and CEO of GE Water further added, “GE and Singapore are recognized leaders in water solutions. GE is committed to providing technologies that are more energy efficient while also increasing water availability through reuse and Singapore is a government leader in testing and implementing these solutions. Establishing the NUS-GE Singapore Water Technology Centre will enhance our ability to develop the most advanced water technologies that the world needs.”