By Nudge Sustainability Reporter James Moo
The changing weather pattern has led to the need of rethinking water formulations all over the world. El Nino and La Nina effects has led to irregular rainfalls, which leads to dry periods and the latter bringing on extended bouts of rain.
Singapore is a small city-state at the tip of the Malaysian Peninsula. Because it is on the tropical belt, you would expect that water should come easy from the skies. However, this is hardly the case for land-scarce Singapore. There are four ways for the sovereign state of Singapore to get water:
1. Import water from its neighbour, Malaysia. This accounts for nearly 60 percent of the necessary water.
2. Desalination from the surrounding seas.
3. Singapore’s own water catchments from rainfall.
4. Reclaimed water from wastewater.
Hence, knowing the weather is going to be more unpredictable, it is important for Singapore to reduce its reliance on imported water and to be sustainable. Thinking of a new way to ensure clean water in the future is essential and may come in the form of innovative ways of rethinking water storage and finding new hardware to store them.
“Virtual storage”: The Water Web
Keeping flow in the water loop allows water to spend less time staying stagnant. With the advent of desalination and water reclamation, the cost of converting such unpotable water to drinkable ones has reduced appreciably. Keeping the water streaming from source to point, allows the water to be stored remotely away from the centralized reservoirs. Therefore, continuous efforts have been invested to reduce time needed to convert unpotable water to our next droplet.
Rainwater is freshwater, but we hardly harvest it to the fullest. Delaying the time before storm waters reaches the reservoirs, allow us to capture the water even better. Taming storm waters and prevent excessive leakage into the sea is key. However, if we can channel them to a storage area before tapping them, this brings an additional dimension to the water equation. Land area is scarce in urban areas. Thus, building storage tanks at housing estates transforms them to water holding points. Additionally, underground cavernous rock formations are now investigated for water storage, where they also prevent evaporative loss. Such sub-terranean storage methods are explored at granite rock formations in the western part of Singapore, with pioneering works this year.