01 Nov Singapore, a Small Country with Clean Water Levels. 4 Extraordinary Schemes in Managing Clean Water!
Singapore, one of the developed countries and one of the business areas in Southeast Asia, has a high level of sanitation and clean water because it is able to develop and implement good water management. Having clean and good quality water is a necessity of life for every human being. Because humans can live without food but cannot live without water.
This also makes Singapore continue to optimize its potential and technology to meet these needs, especially for its citizens. The small area and the small amount of natural resources do not make the government of this country lose its enthusiasm for the prosperity of its citizens. This is proven by their ability to manage clean water independently.
Of course, to realize this, there are several schemes launched by the government. The schemes was named as “4 National Taps”. Curious what is the National Taps? Check out the article below so you don’t miss out on interesting and useful information!
Singapore with the official name: Republic of Singapore, is an island nation off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, 137 kilometers north of the equator in Southeast Asia. The country is separated from Malaysia by the Strait of Johor in the north, and from the Riau Archipelago, Indonesia by the Strait of Singapore in the south. The country which has earned the nickname “The Lion City” is the third leading financial center in the world and a cosmopolitan world city that plays an important role in international trade and finance. The Port of Singapore is one of the five busiest ports in the world.
Singapore has a long history of immigration. Its diverse population is about 6 million people, consisting of Chinese, Malays, Indians, Arabs, various Asian ancestry, and Caucasoids. 42% of Singapore’s population are foreigners who work and study there. Foreign workers make up 50% of the service sector. The country is the second most populous in the world after Monaco. AT Kearney, an American management consulting firm, ranked Singapore as the most globalized country in the world in the 2006 Globalization Index.
Prior to independence in 1965, This country was a diversified trading port with a GDP per capita of $511, the third highest in East Asia at the time. After independence, foreign direct investment and government efforts for industrialization were based on the plans of the former Deputy Prime Minister, Dr. Goh Keng Swee, shaped Singapore’s economy today.
Sanitation is a condition in which there is a provision of clean drinking water and proper treatment of wastes, both factory waste and human waste, to support public health. Another part of sanitation is preventing humans from coming into direct contact with waste and always washing hands with soap to maintain cleanliness. While the purpose of sanitation is to ensure human health by providing a clean environment that will stop the spread of disease.
For example, diarrhea, a major cause of malnutrition and growth retardation in children, can be minimized through adequate sanitation. If people live in an environment with a low level of sanitation, many diseases will be transmitted, such as ascariasis, cholera, hepatitis, poliomyelitis, etc.
To keep the environment clean, there are various sanitation technologies and approaches that can be applied, for example community-based total sanitation, container-based sanitation, ecological sanitation, emergency sanitation, environmental sanitation, and sustainable sanitation. The sanitation system includes the collection, storage, transportation, treatment, and disposal or reuse of sewage (whether human or animal) and wastewater (whether originating from households, industry, or agriculture).
When reused, the sanitation system manager can focus on the nutrients, water, energy or organic matter contained in sewage and wastewater. This is referred to as the “sanitary value chain” or the “sanitary economy”. Sanitation workers are the people who are responsible for cleaning, maintaining, or operating the sanitation technology at each step of the sanitation chain.
4 National Taps
Wastewater recycling with NEWater
The first scheme is NEWater which utilizes the separation of rainwater and wastewater drainage channels. The sewerage leads to three national wastewater treatment plants, namely Kranji, Bedok, and Changi. The waste is then filtered as the first stage of the water recycling process.
Filtering is done using Microfiltration (MF) technology. Namely channeling water through a special layer so that solid particles and protozoa can be filtered out. The result of this filtration is water that only contains a solution of salt and organic molecules.
The next stage is the Reverse Osmosis (RO) process. In contrast to the filtration process, in the RO stage a semipermeable membrane is used. The membrane is so small that only water particles can pass through it. Substances such as bacteria, viruses, heavy metals, sulfates, nitrates, chlorides, hydrocarbons, are suspended in this membrane.
In the final stage, the purified water is then disinfected with UV light to ensure it exceeds the quality set by the US EPA and WHO. With a little addition of alkaline elements to restore the pH balance, NEWater is ready to be distributed to consumers.
Through this first scheme, Singapore has succeeded in meeting more than 50 percent of the country’s national water needs. Extraordinary!
Desalination or purification of seawater
The second scheme carried out by the country’s government to maintain the supply and demand for water continues to increase is to process seawater into fresh water. This process is called desalination or purification of water from salt content. According to Stella, the guide for the NEWater factory, this seawater to fresh water treatment plant has been established since 2005 under a public partnership scheme or Private Public Partnership. This method is done because the population continues to increase and the water needs in the industrial sector from year to year. So they treat sea water for use by the community.
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Utilization of local water catchment
The third scheme is the utilization of local water catchment. In this case, PUB (Public Utilities Board) is responsible for the collection, production, distribution, and reclamation of water in Singapore. In the collection process, rainwater is used to collect through rivers, canals, and drainage or waterways and then stored in 17 reservoirs or reservoirs in Singapore, as explained by Stella.
In each reservoir, a pipeline network has been connected to optimize storage capacity, so that the water discharge in the 17 existing reservoirs can be maintained with each other. Meanwhile, to manage the rainwater that is collected in each reservoir, a filtering process is carried out so that the water becomes clean, sterile and hygienic. After the water is sterile, it will be channeled into a closed reservoir for storage. After that, it is distributed to the community.
Importing clean water from Malaysia
Unlike Indonesia, Singapore does not have abundant sources of clean water to use. Several steps have also been taken by the government to meet water needs, such as recycling wastewater and water used by the community, utilizing local water infiltration through rainwater, to desalination or converting seawater into fresh water.
Just in case the previous three methods are not enough to keep the water supply stable. Thus, the fourth and final way to optimize water management is by importing clean water. Singapore imports water from Johor, Malaysia, this has been done since 2011 at a low price, to meet the ever-increasing demand for water. The import agreement between the two countries was carried out until 2061.
That’s the “4 National Taps” scheme launched by the Singapore government to meet the country’s clean water needs. Wherever we are, we must always be grateful while we can still use clean water for activities. And also hopefully in other countries that still have low sanitation levels, can overcome the problem so that everyone can use clean water for daily life. That’s all for this article and see you in the next article, Adios!