Safeguarding Singapore’s Water Supply with PUB

The desire to serve the country and contribute to nation-building led Singapore Sustainability Scholar Ahmad Taufiq Bin Rohaimi to an engineering career. Intrigued by Singapore’s Water Story, Taufiq is determined to apply his engineering skills and knowledge to solve the future challenges of Singapore’s water supply and make an impact with PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency.

Turning on the National Taps

During Junior College, I developed a strong interest in Physics, Chemistry, and Geography. My passion for the sciences and mathematics led me to pursue an engineering degree. I also had the desire to work in the civil service. After researching Singapore’s Water Story and interning at PUB’s Technology Department, I became increasingly interested in joining PUB as an engineer.

Presently, I am an Operations Engineer at Johor River Waterworks, overseeing and managing operations at Linggiu Reservoir and Johor Pipeline. Our primary goal is to ensure a constant, safe, and adequate water supply from Johor to Singapore. This posting gave me a unique opportunity to work and live in a foreign country, which has broadened my perspective and allowed me to develop my cross-cultural communication skills.

I am also the operational expenditure (OPEX) department representative, where I coordinated with various water supply plants in Singapore and Johor to ensure that OPEX is accounted for and within budget. This responsibility allowed me to expand my network and interact with colleagues from different departments. Overall, my experience at Johor River Waterworks has been both challenging and rewarding.

Lessons Beyond the Waters

My first visit to Linggiu Reservoir was unforgettable. It is a massive reservoir unlike anything I have seen in Singapore. I am grateful for the rare opportunity to be a part of the team entrusted with the management of such a huge reservoir.

The work comes with its set of challenges, many of which are time sensitive – requiring us to think on our feet and develop solutions on-the-go so that plant operations are not jeopardised. This experience taught me to be adaptable and resourceful in a dynamic and potentially stressful environment.

Being away from family and friends is another challenge that Singaporean officers face. As I have to stay in Johor for most of the work week and only get to go home on weekends, I have learnt to cherish the short amount of time I have with my loved ones. I now appreciate my time off work even more.

Nuts and Bolts of PUB

PUB is a far-sighted organisation that prioritises planning to ensure Singapore has a sustainable and reliable water supply. Significant effort has been invested in technological applications and automation to minimise resources required for operations-related work. For example, software such as Qlik Sense enabled me to automate data visualisations for OPEX budgeting. Such automation tools improve efficiency in carrying out tasks.

PUB also places a strong emphasis on personal development and work-life balance. I have ample opportunities to upskill through courses and training programmes, enabling me to enhance my skills and knowledge in various fields such as water engineering, workplace safety, and staffing. Aside from work, PUB also encourages us to prioritise our health and family. I believe that a healthy work-life balance is essential for personal growth and development.

I am grateful to work in an organisation that values innovation, personal development, and work-life balance and be amongst like-minded individuals who share my passion for Singapore’s water security.

Continuing the Singapore Water Story

One of the great benefits of working for PUB is the job rotation opportunities every few years. It allows officers to hone their technical skills and expand their knowledge about various scopes of work. During my undergraduate studies, I interned at four different departments, which opened my eyes to the broad nature of work. My internship experiences have motivated me to accumulate as much knowledge as possible and acquire skills that improve my capabilities.

This emphasis on cross-functional learning and development is essential for personal growth and the organisation’s success. By rotating to different departments, I developed a broader perspective on how everything contributes to the Singapore mission of ensuring a sustainable and reliable water supply.

Aspiring scholars with a keen interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and a strong desire to contribute to the nation should consider joining PUB. I find it fulfilling to be part of a team that works towards providing clean and safe water to the public, which I believe is a crucial aspect of nation-building. Working in PUB has also allowed me to develop my skills and knowledge in water engineering, and I am constantly challenged to find innovative solutions to complex problems. I hope my reflections here will inspire aspiring engineers to join PUB and make their contributions to Singapore’s Water Story!

Singapore Sustainability Scholarship (PUB)
Bachelor of Engineering in Chemical Engineering with Systems Engineering (Double Major), National University of Singapore
Now: Engineer, Water Supply (Plants) Department, PUB