Eg1413 Managing Water Shortage Crisis Position Paper Prepared For Symposium Committee

2899 words - 12 pages

MANAGING WATER SHORTAGE CRISIS
Position Paper Prepared for
Symposium Committee

By

April 2011

Introduction
On Earth, only less than 1% of all water available is suitable for human consumption (Vitzthum & Atkins, n.d.). This emphasises on the scarcity of drinkable water and highlights the importance of not just making water available, but also making it safe for drinking.
In the event of a natural disaster, water shortage is of major concern to affected countries. For Northern Ireland, water pipes and ice thaw after each passing winter, causing burst in pipes supplying water to households. Adding on, in 2011, Japan suffered from an earthquake which disrupted their water ...view middle of the document...

This will be done through the establishment of a water shortage response committee.
Current Responses
Although Singapore does not face any danger of water shortage in the near future (Goh, 2003), we are not safeguarded against possible water shortage caused by acts of sabotage or contamination of water source. As such, to deal with water distribution in the event of water shortage, or distribution of water using original pipes not being possible, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) will set up distribution points at residential areas for residents to collect water using (SCDF, 2010). In addition, the organisation chart of Ministry of Environment and Water Resource (MEWR, 2010) shows that there is no response committee for water shortages at the moment.
Limitations
As SCDF is possibly the only channel available to distribute water and this system is yet to be tested on a nation-wide water shortage, it is questionable as to whether they are prepared to handle any water crisis. Also, in the recent water shortage situation in Northern Ireland, it was observed that the elderly had difficulty with the water collection from distribution points (Water chaos affects thousands in Northern Ireland, 2010). This could be due to the slow and inconvenient process of collecting water in pails, which is physically demanding for the elderly.

Recommendations
Water Shortage Response Committee
For meticulous planning of issues regarding water shortage, a committee could be set up comprising of local experts on relevant disciplinary fields. This can be spearheaded by the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources of Singapore. Following the water shortage response plans of the Town of Cary of North Carolina (Goodwin, 2010) and City of Lubbock in Texas (Water Department, 2011), the committee will then decide and categorise the severity of any water shortage in Singapore into different stages (See Appendix A and B). From here, further announcements will be communicated to the public to instruct them on steps to follow during the crisis in order to prolong the nation’s sustainability on remaining water resources.
From the lessons learnt from our neighbouring country, Malaysia, the quality and quantity of water supplied to the public must be ensured (Aini, Fakhru’l-razi, Siew Suan, 2001). With the quality of water guaranteed, the committee should strive, perhaps with the use of demographic data collected by Department of Statistics Singapore, to achieve a fair distribution of water to all members of public. In addition, if domestic water taps are inoperative, the distribution of water should be done such that no member of the public is marginalised. This will be discussed in the next section.
With the plans and policies in place, it will be futile if the public are not familiar with them. Due to this, it will be the responsibility of the committee to educate the public regarding information on what to do during a water crisis. Just as what the City...

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