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Identifying the context
Water scarcity is a widespread problem that has been lingering in Singapore in recent
years. However, Singapore has been able to overcome this through its excellent water
management and holistic work of its public utilities agency without having any water
resources of their own. This is relevant as it would be a major issue if Singapore was
unable to solve water scarcity. Singapore currently receives more than half of its water
supply from the alternate sources of rainwater collection (20%), recycled water (30%)
and desalination (10%). The long-term plan is to become entirely self-sufficient in water.
The lack of an independent source of freshwater has meant that Singapore is reliant on
the import of water from Malaysia. Singapore had two great import arrangements, set
up during the British pioneer period, one of which terminated in 2011. The difference
between the two nations on the future cost of water brought about Singapore
strengthening endeavours to become independent before the subsequent agreement
lapses in 2061.
Singapore has had many traditional sources of water like rivers, reservoirs and their
import arrangements with Malaysia. Alternate sources of water would be their rainwater
collection, desalination and recycled water. These alternate sources of water are
significant in maintaining Singapore’s water security as there is always a chance of
potential conflict with Malaysia which could be a threat to the country's water supply.
NEWater is one of the many examples of alternate sources of water that Singapore has
managed to come up with.
Discussion of Environmental Issue
Water scarcity can be defined as an environmental issue that has been lingering for a
long time. Water scarcity also has many influencing factors such as climate change,
consumption and new sources. All of which would be explored in this report.
Connection between environmental issues and RQ
Water scarcity can be defined as the lack of freshwater resources to meet the standard
water demand. Humanity is facing a water crisis, due to unequal distribution resulting in
some very wet and some very dry geographic locations, plus a sharp rise in global
freshwater demand in recent decades driven by industry. Clean water is a necessity in
all humans and Singapore has managed to overcome this issue with many solutions.
NEWater is a prime example of the nation’s solution to counter this environmental issue.
NEWater is the brand name given to highly treated reclaimed wastewater produced by
Singapore's Public Utilities Board. More specifically, conventionally treated wastewater
is further purified to produce NEWater by using advanced treatment technologies.
NEWater is a process that recycles our treated used water into high-grade reclaimed
water, diminishing our water supply against dry weather and moving Singapore towards
water sustainability. This relates back to the environmental issue of
How does the NEWater meet the demands for water in Singapore?
I hypothesize that there would be an increase in percentage of NEWater usage in
comparison with the total consumption in Singapore. This is because NEWater can be
considered a new source of water and it reduces the amount of waste.
My main source of data is obtained online from PUB water statistics, this will be
considered reliable as it is a government website. It is important to note that the data
listed is from 2008-2018 as I was limited only to those years. Initially, I did plan on also
showing Industrial water but decided to exclude it as the only data that I could find was
only up to 2011, and it makes up a very small proportion of Singapore’s ways of
maintaining their water sustainability due to it only being used on St. John’s Island.
The volume of NEWater sold annually
Volume of NEWater
Consumption of water (million m3)
Percentage of water consumption (%)
Weaknesses & Improvement
Source of data is reliable as it was
obtained from a government website