11/03/2012, 00.00
SINGAPORE
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Singapore a world leader in recycling water

The city-state that currently depends on Malaysia for its water needs, is pursuing a model that should give it full self-sufficiency by 2061 and is based on three components: rain collection, seawater desalination and recycling wastewater.

Singapore (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Singapore is the world leader in recycling water, according to support is Brett Walton, spokesman for Circle of Blue, an American organization founded in 2000, which brings together scholars and journalists who specializes in issues related to the use and abuse of water.

An issue that is becoming increasingly serious worldwide. The estimated needs of the '"blue gold" for 2030 is 6,900 billion cubic meters, compared to 4,500 billion today. 40% above the current levels, taking into account that part of the supply must be reserved for environmental needs.

Singapore, which has very few natural water resources, is on track to achieve full self-sufficiency for the more than 5 million people who live on the 641 square km of the city-state and making it the second most densely populated area in the world, after the principality of Monaco.

Singapore currently gets 50% of its water supply from Malaysia, with a contract that expires in 2061. By then the city will be entirely self-sufficient.

The "Singapore Model" which won the 2007 Stockholm Industry Water Award it is based on three components

 The first is the collection of rainwater. The city has 17 tanks to capture runoff stormwater from roofs, streets, sidewalks, open land and waterways. To slow down the flow and facilitate collection, they are also trying to plant trees in the few existing free zones. This will provide 20% of the water required.

The second element is the desalination of sea water. The costs are high, but not prohibitive and are slowly coming down. The first plant was completed in 2005 and two more are under construction. Once fully operational, they will provide 30% of water.

The third essential component is the recycling of waste water. Singapore is building five "NEWater" plants which will transform wastewater into drinking water. These systems are actually used mostly for industrial needs, but the water supply can be placed safely in drinking water pipes before the last purification cycle. This should yield a further 50% of the water that serves the city.

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