Decoding the Singapore Water Story

While Singapore was moving towards its goals of becoming a developed economy and one of the world’s cleanest cities, its leaders knew that water would play an important part in it. Dependence on Malaysia for over half of its water needs put Singapore in a vulnerable position amidst the acrimonious disputes between the countries which had separated in 1965.

The book highlights how water has always been viewed as a strategic resource in Singapore and how “water security has been a permanent consideration for the city-state’s leadership”. That Singapore was no different from the third-world countries surrounding it, with its polluted waterways, overcrowded river banks, and poor sanitation until the 1960s is perhaps known to many. But what the book attempts to uncover is the process by which this was reversed so very thoroughly.

Sahana Singh
Published in Asian Water, 2013

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