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PUB Introduces Smart Road Map to Modernize Water Quality Monitoring and Management

Looking into the sustainability and water management resources of Singapore, the country’s national water agency, the Public Utilities Board (PUB) has come up with a “smart” road map designed to incorporate artificial intelligence (AI), big data, and smart work platforms to be tested in the next five years to improve the agency’s operations and water management systems.

The country’s national water agency announced last Wednesday (July 11), that the road map will introduce “smarter” water quality management and operational processes.

PUB Introduces Smart Road Map for Effective Water Management

According to PUB’s Chief Information Officer, Mr. Michael Toh, “Business as usual is not sustainable.” Not tapping into the benefits and improvements of adopting new technologies would expose the country’s water resource management to inefficiencies and risks, and would ultimately render the agency’s function and operations “obsolete” in its inability to adapt to technological challenges, Mr Toh explained.

Smart Water Quality Monitoring

Under the PUB’s new smart road map, two innovative methods for remote water quality management will be explored:

The first method is through the use of an self-driving boat that can navigate itself through shifting waters to collect samples. It was first tested at the Pandan reservoir back in November 2017. Currently, the boat’s effectiveness in monitoring water quality is being evaluated by expert biologists.

Another method that is currently being developed by the PUB is the use of a device that can perform automated cellular imaging of “micro-invertebrates” – or microscopic organisms found in raw water. Through this method, the total amount of time spent in manually counting micro-invertebrates in water samples should be cut down significantly to less than two hours per sample.

The upcoming innovations aim to complement existing protocols and methods employed by trained biologists in the manual collection of water samples and in the assessment of these samples for the amount of micro-invertebrates present in them for public safety and consumption.