CRISIS MANGAGEMENT AND NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS:
WATER CRISIS IN SINGAPORE
Foo Fang Yu, Edmund Leong, Goh Wei Yang Brian
By 2025, a third of the world is predicted to face water shortages (Khor, 2010). Answering the call for papers by the Symposium on Crisis Management and National Preparedness, this paper emphasizes the possibility of a partial water shortage and explores how a natural water resource scarce Singapore can lessen the impact of a disruption to daily lifestyle before she attains self sufficiency in water production. Recommendations for measures by the government and Public Ultility Board (PUB) to reduce water demand and to alleviate the crisis will be presented.
Due to Singapore’s insufficient land catchment area (Tortajada, 2006), Malaysia has agreed to sell untreated water to Singapore (Gleick, 2010). Relationship between the two countries has been fluctuating especially after the Petra Branca (Channel News Asia, 2008) and the modification of causeway bridge incidents (BBC News, 2006). In 2010, many Malaysian states faced severe water shortages, causing the Malaysian government to consider redistributing their water supply (Teo, 2010). With a water treaty with Malaysia expiring in 2011 and past threats of engaging war, Singapore seems unable to rely on Malaysia for imported water (Muazy, n.d).
Moreover, over the past decade, Singapore’s total water consumption has increased by 21% with little signs of abating (Ministry of Environment, 2009). Currently, Singapore can only provide 60% of our total water consumption (Gleick, 2010). If nothing is done to curb rising demand and keep it within limit, residents may face substantial disruption to their lifestyles
Crisis and Consequence
The damages of a partial water shortage are widespread and multifarious. For this paper, we have decided to highlight the disruption to the immediate social and industrial workings.
First, Singapore may need to reduce industrial...