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Minister calls for careful use but says...No risk of water shortage

Despite the recent dry weather, Singapore is in no danger of water shortage in the near future.

But people still need to use water carefully, said Environment and Water Resources Minister Vivian Balakrishnan.

Over the last two weeks, in response to the lack of rain, PUB, the national water agency, has injected an additional 20 to 25 mgd (million gallons per day) of NEWater into the reservoirs. This is about 36 Olympic-sized swimming pools' worth of water.

The amount will be increased to about 30 mgd next week to keep water reserves in the reservoirs at "healthy levels", wrote Dr Balakrishnan in a Facebook post yesterday.

"Fortunately, our major investments in NEWater and desalination over the years have diversified our sources of water supply and strengthened our water security.

"Although we can be confident of meeting our water needs, let us remember that every drop of water is precious. Do continue to practise good water-saving habits and avoid unnecessary consumption. We can make every drop count," he wrote.

Dr Balakrishnan also posted pictures of a "submerged" boardwalk in MacRitchie Reservoir which is now "high and dry" he said, prompting people to ask him about the current dry spell and its implications on the country's water security.

Singapore has been experiencing an "unusually dry phase" of the North-east Monsoon since mid-January, explained the minister.

This typically lasts till early March. He also noted that Singapore has experienced similar dry periods, the most recent in 2010.

"Global climate change means greater weather volatility - with increased chances of both more intense storms and unpredictable periods of drought," he wrote.