Water in Singapore

Christine Lee, Sim Hwee Huang & Chang Chew Hung

and updated by Ivy Tan

Humanities and Social Studies Education Academic Group
National Institute of Education/Nanyang Technological University


Introduction | Task | Resources | Process | Evaluation | Conclusion



View this movie:

(Source: Straits Times Interactive Page)

`Water is a scarce commodity in Singapore. We have to curb the upward trend in consumption of water, and make its prudent use an ingrained habit. If not, we will be short of water in 15 to 20 years' time. We have to take water conservation measures now to slow  down its increasing demand.'

                                                                       Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong


With no rivers or lakes to tap for fresh water, Singapore's only indigenous source of water is rainfall collected in its 14 reservoirs. This has never been sufficient for a country with a total population of about 4.0 million. We use about 1.24 million cubic metres of water per day (as at year 2000). Singapore imports most of its drinking water by pipeline from neighbouring Malaysia. We have even resorted to reclaiming water through "NEWater" or a micro-filtration process. WATER is a matter of national security.

The Task

It's your big chance. The Editor-in-chief of the Nanyang Star has asked your team to cover the stories on the water issue in Singapore. Your team will report to the Editor-in-Chief and the executive committee in the form of a poster in three weeks' time.

Below are some topics to be covered in the water issue in Singapore:

You have two tasks:

a)     As a group, you will do a group poster presentation on what you have found on the above areas. Your poster should be at least A2 in size and as many pieces as you require.

b)    Individually, you have to write an essay to critically evaluate the alternative water sources for Singapore. The individual essay should NOT be more than 10 pages on A4 paper using double-line spacing at 12 points Times Roman font. This page limit includes figures, tables, diagrams and references. Essays should be submitted using the cover sheet.




Online Resources


Current Issues




Water (General Resources)


http://www.worldwatch.org/alerts/990717.html. Worldwatch Institute


The Water Page is an independent initiative dedicated to the promotion of sustainable water resources management and use. A particular emphasis is placed on the development, utilization and protection of water in Africa and other developing regions




Water in Singapore (General Resources)






Singapore-Malaysia Water Issue








Dealing with the water problem in Singapore







Lesson ideas on the topic of water


Please refer to this site for newspaper articles that have been scanned and uploaded on the site


An interesting WebQuest but may internet sites are not active




Online Databases

Relevant newspaper articles on the topic especially from the Singapore Straits Times


The World Water Council is the International Water Policy Think Tank that was founded in 1996, following recommendations issued at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. It brings together more than 300 members from about 40 countries in a unique network. The website hosts a library of reports and press releases related to the water issues




The Process

1. You will be assigned into teams of four or five.

2. Give different roles to each member of your team:

3. You may use the list of questions proposed by the Editor-in-Chief or your team may choose to brainstorm additional questions. Each team member will choose one question from the list of questions to work on.

4. Use the online resources made available in this WebQuest for gathering the information you need to write the article. You are encouraged to use additional resources not provided in this WebQuest.

5. Now that you have done your research and is an expert on one topic, share the findings of your research with members of your team.

6. Next comes the creative part of the process. Brainstorm ways of organising your information in the form of a poster on "The Water Issue for Singapore". Be creative here.  

8. Individually write your essay to critically evaluate the alternative sources of water in Singapore.

9. Present your team's poster to the rest of the class and submit your essay.



You will be evaluated in the following ways:

a)    Group poster presentation: 30 marks

b)    Individual essay: 30 marks

Please see the  product evaluation rubric on your group poster presentation and your individual essay.



So what is your response as an individual and a concerned citizen to the water problem in Singapore. How can you become part of the solution to the problem. What is your special role as a teacher of social studies in this?

8 Feb 2003

Based on a template from The Webquest Page.