Water Crisis – A nation's challenge, a global concern, a regional solution
Presenter: Lim Shu Xian, Eunice
Singapore Management University
Theme: A Sustainable Future for our Planet
In the last 50 years, there have been 507 conflicts between states involving water rights and access to water. Competition for water is a phenomenon which will increase in intensity as populations grow and global warming takes a greater toll. Today, this natural resource is recognized as strategic and vital to the health and survival of people everywhere, as well as to the maintenance of biodiversity and the economic survival of nations. As a consequence, access to water will take center stage in global, regional and local governance. A small and affluent young nation, Singapore lacks most natural resources and depends on neighbouring Malaysia for half of its water needs. Malaysia has traditionally used water as leverage in many of the bilateral disputes between the once-joined states, including “loose talk of war” in January 2003. In a bid to be self sufficient and independent, Singapore has developed an alternative method of reclaiming waste water as a viable source of (raw) water. This innovative model is one key to building a sustainable future for water management for individual states. In addition, countries should consider cooperating at a regional level to adopt this technology.