Take steps to ensure Singapore has reliable source of surplus water

Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli said in Parliament on Tuesday that what Cape Town experienced "is not a remote possibility for Singapore. We must not wait for a crisis to take place" (Daily water use dips sharply, due in part to 2017 price hike; March 7).

This leads to the question: Why are we looking at the rather dismal example of Cape Town - where the situation is dire, as water looks set to run out because of a three-year drought - and not at a country like Israel which has a water surplus due to desalination plants?

With Singapore's huge resources, why are we not building more desalination plants to ensure that we have a water surplus, so that we do not have to depend on unreliable weather conditions that could affect our water supply from reservoirs?

If water supply is considered an existential crisis for the country, it should be an urgent issue on our priority list and tackled in advance.

Like Israel, we should be more proactive and tap technology to ensure we have a reliable source of surplus water, and not wait for a crisis to happen when our reservoirs dry up.

Seah Yam Meng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 08, 2018, with the headline 'Take steps to ensure Singapore has reliable source of surplus water'. Print Edition | Subscribe