Global Water Advocate Praises Singapore Fresh Water Model During Drought of the Century

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Bio Logic Aqua Research Founder Sharon Kleyne Cites Island Nation’s Water Recycling and Conservation as Global Model for U.N. World Water Day

The tiny island nation of Singapore, with minimal fresh water resources, has become the world’s model for conservation and recycling. According to global water advocate Sharon Kleyne, Singapore had formerly depended almost entirely on imported water from neighboring Malaysia. In honor of United Nations World Water Day on March 22, Kleyne recently praised the success of the “Singapore model,” which was severely tested during February, 2014, the driest February in Singapore or Malaysia since 1867. While most countries in the region have initiated water rationing, Singapore has not.    

Sharon Kleyne is Founder of Bio Logic Aqua Research, a fresh water, atmosphere and health research and product development center. Natures Tears® EyeMist® is the Research Center’s global signature product for dry eye. Kleyne also hosts the globally syndicated Sharon Kleyne Hour Power of Water® radio show, broadcast on the VoiceAmerica Variety Channel, Health and Wellness Channel, and Apple iTunes.

Singapore formerly obtained 50% of its water from Malaysia. Because of the success of its water strategy, the country did not renew a 50-year water contract with Malaysia that expired in 2011. Singapore’s objective is 100% water independence by 2061, when a separate 99-year water contract with Malaysia expires, even though demand will have doubled by then.

Sharon Kleyne, a longtime water recycling advocate, believes that every government on Earth should be excited about Singapore’s water accomplishments. According to Kleyne, 1.3 billion of Earth’s 7 billion people lack access to safe and sufficient drinking water and suffers disease and mortality as a result. Even where the water supply is adequate, it is often transported for hundreds of miles at great expense. Many existing water sources worldwide are no longer adequate.

The Singapore water model has three components: The first is improved rainwater catchment. Singapore is one of the most water conserving cities in the world and will soon have 17 reservoirs to capture runoff from roofs, streets, sidewalks, open land and streams. To further slow and capture runoff, the city is attempting to reforest its few open areas. This program will eventually provide 20% of the island’s water.

The second component is water recycling. In addition to normal sewage treatment, Singpore is constructing five “NEWater” treatment facilities, where treated waste water is further purified to drinkable (potable) standards for human consumption. NEWater is gaining increasing public acceptance and will eventually supply up to 50% of Singapore’s water needs. The city is also improving its sewer and sanitation system to get waste water to processing plants more efficiently.

Worldwide, according to Kleyne, most waste water and sewage is processed to non-polluting standards rather than potable standards. Non-potable fresh water is usually discharged into rivers or used for irrigation. “Indirect potable water” recycling purifies the water more than normal recycling, to where it may be safely discharged into a reservoir or ground water.    

The third component is sea water desalinization. This well-established technology tends to consume a large amount of energy and money but the cost is slowly coming down. The program will eventually provide 30% of Singapore’s fresh water.

The fourth component is fresh water importation from Malaysia, which is obliged by treaty to supply water to Singapore until 2061.

While there is much to be learned from Singapore, Kleyne notes that the United States and Australian fresh water distribution models are also being adapted elsewhere, especially in China and India. The global leaders in desalinization are Israel, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Australia and the US states of California, Florida and Texas.

Singapore, Kleyne concludes, is a shining example for all nations. During UN World Water Day, this tiny island, one of the world’s smallest and most densely populated countries, is an inspiration for the world that by working together, human ingenuity can solve insoluble problems, save lives and keep our precious Earth healthy, clean and productive.

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Mikaylah Roggasch
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