SINGAPORE – A local environment minister said Monday that a new draft law on water quality and pollution would not be introduced for several years and urged citizens to be patient as the situation improved.
The draft legislation is expected to be introduced in Parliament later this month, but Environment Minister Ng Eng Hen said it will be delayed by a couple of years because of issues that have yet to be resolved.
“This legislation has to be completed and it has to go into effect before the end of the year, but the urgency has to continue,” Mr Ng said.
“It has to get under way, and that is our priority.”
We will do our best to give people the right information about the water quality situation.
I am asking people to take a very, very patient view.
“I hope the urgency will eventually be resolved, but we have to do it.”
Mr Ng said the government will work with the country’s environmental agencies to help develop a more sustainable water system.
In November, the government launched a pilot scheme for water treatment plants.
It is also taking steps to tackle the water crisis, including the purchase of 2.5 million gallons of bottled water a month and a new system of drip irrigation to reduce water use.
In June, Singapore had the highest water pollution index in Asia at 3,100, which ranked it as one of the worst in Asia.
The index includes water quality, as well as water pollution.