As the country lacks groundwater, the residents were previously completely referenced to collect rainwater. During the late 1900’s, freshwater imports became increasingly important. It is transported by pipeline from Johor in the southernmost of Malaysia and at the turn of the century covered almost all of the country’s water needs.
- Countryaah: Population and demographics of Singapore, including population pyramid, density map, projection, data, and distribution.
The increase in population and economic growth have led to a significant increase in water demand and Singapore has become a global center for the development of water recycling technology and also outstanding in terms of water management. New, unconventional methods are used to increase water resources within the country, and current plans aim to make the country self-sufficient by 2060 with water.
In the mid-2010’s, Singapore had 17 large reservoirs where rainfall from two-thirds of the country’s surface was collected via the drainage into the small watercourses. In the highly exploited city state, there is now no room for further large reservoirs and there is also a great risk of contaminating existing water resources.
Rainwater solves about 20 percent of the water demand. It is used mainly in industries, for cooling and washing.
Desalination of seawater is an energy-intensive and therefore very costly method of getting water to industries and households. The first desalination plant was commissioned in 2005. Capacity has grown gradually, but costs are rising with rising energy prices and the production of desalinated water corresponds to just over 10 percent of the need.
The most successful method is high-grade purification (ultraviolet treatment and membrane technology) of water used. The method is called NEWater and has been developed since the early 2000’s. In mid-2010, recycled water accounted for 30 percent of Singapore’s water use. This water is completely harmless to drink and more than meets WHO’s standards for clean water. Less than half of the water needed in Singapore comes from a Singapore-run water plant in southern Malaysia, and as production in the NEWater project increases, the need for imported water decreases.