NEA Singapore developing new Waste and Resources Management System
The National Environment Agency (NEA) of Singapore has partnered with Ecquaria Technologies Pte Ltd (Ecquaria) to develop a new Waste and Resources Management System (WRMS), according a press release from Ecquaria, dated 15 January 2018.
The new system is expected to facilitate waste minimisation and resource sustainability by integrating all waste-related systems into an ecosystem.
It aims to digitally transform the way NEA collects data and manages: 1) public sector environment sustainability initiatives; 2) toxic industrial waste; 3) renewable and non-renewable resources; and 4) day-to-day waste disposal operations.
“Driving innovation and encouraging technology adoption” is one of the key thrusts under the Environmental Services Industry Transformation Map (ES ITM) launched in December 2017.
In line with this, the WRMS will leverage NEA’s existing Enterprise Architecture (EA) and the new Ecquaria Government Platform Enterprise Edition (EGP EE) to enhance service delivery.
New technologies, such as microservices and containers , will be adopted for business agility and uninterrupted operations.
Under the microservices architecture, an application is built as a collection of loosely coupled, small, modular services. Each microservice can be deployed, updated and scaled independently.
Instead of updating the entire application, the loosely-coupled microservices can be easily updated and deployed. This would allow NEA to respond promptly to policy changes and constantly changing requirements.
The new WRMS will also enable the visualisation of the health of each individual microservice using built-in monitoring tools. Developers can easily manage resources, promptly pinpoint and rectify errors at the individual microservice level. Together with the system resiliency provided by the microservices architecture, WRMS will thus facilitate uninterrupted operations.
The WRMS will also include features to facilitate the use of data for NEA to make informed decisions and policies.
The WRMS will include a NEA Survey System (NSS), which would support NEA Research and Statistics Department (RSD) in data collection by conducting and managing surveys. The collected data will provide an analysis of Singapore’s waste management, resource consumption and public sector environment sustainability initiatives.
The entire survey process from planning, design and creation, tracking of survey submissions to analysis and reporting will be automated through NSS.
Other than the usual functions of a survey application, NSS will utilise the configurable workflows available on Ecquaria’s platform to manage the entire survey workflow such as administering access control management and survey request approval.
During 2018, Ecquaria partnered the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) of Singapore to launch a crowdsourcing portal, called eCitizen Ideas! on Nectar – Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) developed by the Singapore government.
Previously, in 2015, Ecquaria also rolled out a one-stop Weather Information Portal (WIP) that provides real-time weather information by location, for the Meteorological Service Singapore (MSS), an agency under NEA.
 Containers enable software to run reliably regardless of the computing environment. A container image is a lightweight, stand-alone, executable package of a piece of software that includes everything needed to run it: code, runtime, system tools, system libraries, settings. Containers isolate software from its surroundings, for example differences between development and staging environments and help reduce conflicts between teams running different software on the same infrastructure.