Singapore to Face 100% Water Independence

Despite of limited natural water resources, a small city Singapore is regarded as the world’s leader in water recycling. Rapid population growth and water shortage due to drought has been a critical issue and problem at the heart of environment advocates focusing on water conservation.

Singapore, the only city in Southeast Asia that literally depends its water supply from Malaysia, thereby the city state is in the process to contrive model towards sustainable and yet sufficient water supply by 2016. With this, Singapore will be facing 100% independence on water sharing with Malaysia. However, in 2011, 99-year water contract agreement with Malaysia has ‘expire’. Singapore failed to renew such contract.


Singapore belongs to the wealthiest country in Asia in terms of business enterprise, real estate ownership, in a sad track; the city state is lack of natural water resources.

The Three Models of Water Recycling

Singapore’s water recycling initiative is composed of three fundamental models: “rain collection, seawater desalination, and recycling wastewater.” This model has won the 2007 Stockholm Industry Water Award.

  1. Collection of Water. Singapore uses 17 tanks to collect running water from the rain strategically located in sidewalks, rooftops, streets, open land and major waterways among others. Planting trees around city-state will provide Singaporeans better opportunity to contribute 20% of the required water.
  2. Seawater Desalination. Establishing infrastructural equipment requires huge amount of money and yet durable water conversion. In 2005, the first plant was successfully opened and two more will open soon. This method can provide 30% water requirement.
  3. Recycling Wastewater. In order to generate 50% water requirement, Singapore currently building five “NEWater” to recycle wastewater to a portable or drinking water. This process is common for industrial needs, thus producing drinking water is its core objective.

The Circle of Blue spokesman Brett Walton from the United States considers Singapore as the “world leader in recycling water.” With its inception in 2000, Circle of Blue is an American-based organization, the powerhouse of journalists and scholars working together specializing towards issues in relation to water abuse and usage.

Water shortage in Singapore is getting more serious. Singapore’s estimated water needs by 2030 hit 6,900 billion cubic meters, in contrast to 4,500 billion today. Therefore, 40% above current levels is required to reserve water supply for environmental consumption.

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