Water As An Important Resource

Singapore has recently launched two publications; “Blue Paper” and “Solutions”, outlining imperatives such as the need to price water to reflect its scarcity while ensuring its affordability.

Water has always played an important in the sustainable development of cities. One-third of the world’s population live in areas where water scarcity must be reckoned with. Much of this cannot be avoided, but can be averted through better water management. As a rule of thumb, about one litre of liquid water gets converted to water vapor to produce one calorie of food. A heavy meat diet requires much more water than a vegetarian diet. These are trends that pile ever more pressure on the available water resources as the world population increases and urbanization occurs more rapidly.

The relation between water and food is a struggle for over two thirds of world’s 850 million under-nourished people. There is water scarcity in rural areas of India and China and much of South Africa, because of rapid economic growth in both countries. Diets are more dependent on animal products. In China, meat demand has quadrupled over the last 30 years, and in India milk and egg products are increasingly popular. Growing cities take more water, and environmental concerns are escalating.

Water use in agriculture is one of the major drivers of ecosystem degradation. Flows of rivers in important food producing areas dry up because of the water needed for irrigated agriculture. More people require more water for more food; more water is essential in the fight against poverty; yet we should limit the amount of water taken from ecosystems.

There have been greater recognition of the importance of water and the need to conserve and ensure the proper distribution and use of water. Projects that cause great damages to the environment are causing huge uproar and governments are weighing development decisions more prudently nowadays. Examples include the debate caused by hydraulic fracking and the closing down of several mines in China and India due to their damage of the environment.

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