SINGAPORE: Singapore must be prepared psychologically to face water shortages if its reservoirs dry up and when the second water agreement with Malaysia ends in 2061, said DPM Teo Chee Hean on Saturday (Mar 4).
At present, imported water meets half of Singapore’s water needs. But water levels in Johor’s Linggiu Reservoir are falling. There is also the danger of prolonged dry weather, Mr Teo said.
As such, water has been a strategic priority for Singapore.
Speaking to 4,000 people at the launch of the Singapore World Water Day on Saturday morning, Mr Teo said the Government has invested heavily to develop local water sources like expanding water catchment areas and deploying new technologies.
“We have been fortunate over the past few years to benefit from advances in technology – NEWater and membrane-based desalination. These alternative water resources are not dependent on rainfall and have helped to supplement our traditional water resources,” he said.
Singapore has invested about S$430 million per year in water infrastructure since 2000. This will double to S$800 million per year over the next five years.
HOW MUCH DOES WATER COST IN SINGAPORE?
A 330ml bottle of water, which one can get from any supermarket, costs less than S$1. In contrast, that same amount of money will pay for 1,000 bottles of clean water from the tap after the full water price increase of 30 per cent has been phased in over the next two years.
“Our price of water from your tap is comparable to that in major cities. Many of them have large rivers and lakes to draw from. We have none of these natural sources of our own. According to the World Resources Institute, if we just left things to nature, we are the most water-stressed country in the world,” said DPM Teo.
Singapore's efforts to ensure its people have water have shown the country's resilience and determination to survive and thrive, he added.