As Singapore is a city-state with not much land area, it is not particularly rich in natural resources. Natural resources in Singapore can be categorized into nonrenewable resources, renewable resources and water resources. The conservation and management of water resource has been a huge challenge for countries across the globe. In a country like Singapore, where land is at a premium, the use of land to conserve water has to be integrated with the use of land for socio economic growth. Water itself being a scarce resource, has to be used judiciously. Singapore has come up with an efficient water management policy, to ensure sustainability of water resources over a period of time. The Government in Singapore has taken initiatives by investing in infrastructure, upgrading technology, devising water management strategies to manage water resource.
The Government has identified five challenges in managing water resource in Singapore effectively. They are:
- Safeguarding water resources.
- Processing cost effective, safe drinking water.
- Keeping loses in water supply system to a minimum.
- Water conservation.
- Closing the water loop.
The Government in Singapore has also taken initiative to manage its nonrenewable and renewable resource.
Nonrenewable Resources in Singapore
Natural resource, such as coal, oil, or natural gas, which takes millions of years to form naturally and therefore, cannot be replaced once it is consumed. Fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas generate a considerable amount of energy when they are burnt (the process of combustion). Non-renewable resources have high carbon content because their origin lies in the photosynthetic activity of plants millions of years ago.
Singapore has very limited non renewable resources. The economy is dependent on oil and natural gas imports. Singapore took a conscious decision to move from fuel oil to natural gas in 2001.Currently natural gas accounts for 80 per cent of the electricity generation.
Renewable Resources in Singapore
A substance of economic value that can be replaced or replenished in the same amount or less time as it takes to draw the supply down. Renewable resources have become a focal point of the environmental movement, both politically and economically. Energy obtained from renewable resources puts much less strain on the limited supply of fossil fuels (non-renewable resources).To cope up with the increasing demand for energy in Singapore, the Government has taken initiative in developing the technology for using renewable energy in Singapore.
Singapore has relied on the use of bio mass as a source of renewable energy. Biomass energy is the utilization of energy stored in organic matter. Examples of biomass include wood, leaves, animal waste, crops, bones, and scales. Put another way, biomass is stored solar energy that can be converted to electricity or fuel.
Singapore again has tremendous potential to tap solar energy, being situated in the equatorial belt. But the country has to find a solution to the problem of lack of availability of land, if it has to truly leverage on its solar energy potential.