SINGAPORE: The PUB is to study the potential of tapping into underground sources for water.
It called for a tender on Friday for consultancy services to be awarded in July.
PUB said Singapore currently has no known underground water sources or aquifers.
The three-year study will explore the rock layer in the western and southern part of the island known as the Jurong Formation.
Areas in the study include rural areas like Lim Chu Kang, and more urban areas such as Jurong, Bukit Merah and Choa Chu Kang.
Experts said if found, these water sources in the Jurong Formation will contain few impurities as it is deep in the ground.
This means less work is needed to process and clean the water, and minimal disruptions on ground level.
This is compared to shallower aquifers, which is easier to reach and requires less energy to draw water, but tends to contain more impurities and the ground level will be more affected by water pumping activities.
National University of Singapore’s assistant professor at the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Dr Chew Soon Hoe said: "But if this well is going to be very deep, for it to be economical and quantity-wise to be viable, then one has to start considering the cost of drilling this deep well as well as maintaining this constant pumping.
“Of course, one cannot forget that by designating certain area for deep well pumping for water extraction, the vicinity will probably not be suitable for high class shopping and residential functions."
Dr Chew added that for water extraction, it is important to study the hydrological balance and how to recharge the groundwater in the rock layer for a continuous water supply. - CNA/ck
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