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Water Resources Management

, Volume 27, Issue 8, pp 2729–2746 | Cite as

Water Demand Management in Singapore: Involving the Public

  • Cecilia Tortajada
  • Yugal K. Joshi
Article

Abstract

Water demand management requires the implementation of instruments and strategies that consider pricing, mandatory water conservation requirements and the engagement of the public and private sectors as well as of the society at large. In the case of Singapore, water is treated as an economic good. It is priced to recover the full costs of production and to reflect the scarcity of the resource and the high cost of developing additional water sources. Within a framework for water conservation, public education, information and awareness instruments have played a very important part in making the public appreciate the importance of conserving the resource. This paper analyses the water demand strategies that have been developed in the city-state, with emphasis on education efforts and on the results obtained in terms of water conservation. Lessons learnt from this study can provide very useful experiences for cities in developed and developing countries on the type of policies that could be successful in reducing consumption as well as in providing alternative supplies of water for both the domestic and the industrial sectors They also provide useful insights on the different ways to make the public realise the importance of using water sustainably for its long-term conservation even when immediate access to clean water may not be an issue.

Keywords

Public involvement Water demand Water conservation Water pricing Singapore 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This paper is part of a broader research project on urban water and wastewater management in Singapore sponsored by the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, and the Third World Centre for Water Management, Mexico. The authors are most grateful to Public Utilities Board for providing us with data for our analyses and to the external reviewers for their insightful comments. The support of Simran Singh, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, is gratefully acknowledged.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Third World Centre for Water Managementformerly Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore,AtizapanMexico
  2. 2.Northern Railwayformerly Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of SingaporeNew DelhiIndia

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