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Unformatted text preview: Edwina Regina AEM 250 Final Paper Urban Water Management in Singapore For a country with a relatively small area of 272 square miles, Singapore has a very limited water supply. Furthermore, with a population of about 4.68 million, with an annual growth of 1.9% (Tortajada, 2006) Singapore has a problem to meet its citizen’s demand of water, especially in the long run. Currently about half of Singapore’s water comes from rain and the rest comes from a neighboring country, Malaysia. However, the two water agreements with Malaysia that supply Singapore with this water are due to expire by 2011 and 2061 respectively and the two countries are engaged in a dispute on the price of water. Thus, the Public Utilities Board of Singapore (PUB Singapore) has been planning to increase Singapore’s self-sufficiency in water supply and in one way to raise its citizens’ awareness so as not to only decrease the demand of water, but also to value water itself. Singapore currently has 4 national taps for water: local catchments, imported water, desalinated water and NEWater. The local catchment areas, which covers only 5% total area of Singapore has been managed very strictly. No pollution-causing activities are allowed in such areas. Trade Effluent Regulations is passed in 1976 to ensure that wastewater discharged has been properly treated. Even though many countries in the world have the similar requirement, Singapore is very strict in the implementation. Formerly, the ratio of protected to partly protected catchment areas is 1:1 and Singapore is expected to achieve a ratio of 2:1 by the year 2009. (Tortajada, 2006) One way to achieve a decreased demand of water is to levy Water Conservation 1 Tax (WCT.) This tax is calculated by percentage and the percentage increases as consumption of water increases. In all 3 categories of water usage – domestic, non- domestic and shipping, the tax has been increased every year, as Singapore is getting closer to the end of water agreement with Malaysia. And also, the price of water itself has been increasing such that in 2000, the price of water for 1-20m 3 of domestic use was 117 cents/m 3 , comparing to 56 cents/m 3 in 1997. (Tortajada, 2006.) As price of water increases, the quantity demanded for water decreases. In 1995, the average monthly consumption of water is 21.7m 3 and in 2000, the average monthly consumption of water has decreased to 20.5 m 3 – despite the fact that price of water has doubled. Therefore, the elasticity of water in Singapore from year 1995-2000 is: = ∆ ∆ = ) / /( ) / ( P P Qd Qd e 0.0679 Therefore, it can be concluded that the demand of water in Singapore is relatively inelastic because everyone needs water and there is no substitute for this good. The increase in the price of water does not largely affect Singaporeans’ water consumption....
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- Spring '07
- Hydrology, Water supply, Water crisis, Water management