Water Management in 2020 and Beyond

Part of the series Water Resources Development and Management pp 237-250

Singapore Water: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

  • Teng Chye KhooAffiliated withPublic Utilities Board of Singapore

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Singapore is a small island nation with a total land area of about 700 km2, or 65% the size of the city of Zaragoza. However, the population in Singapore is 4.6 million, about 6.5 times that of Zaragoza. The result is a densely populated city that exerts great pressure on competing land uses such as housing, commerce, industry, transport, recreation, schools and universities and, on top of these, water catchments. With no natural aquifers or groundwater, Singapore is considered one of the waterscarce countries. UN studies (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, 2006) have ranked Singapore 170th among 190 countries in terms of fresh water availability. This is not due to the lack of rainfall (which averages 2400mm/year) but rather because of our limited land to catch the rainfall and also because of our increasing population.