Annex A - Group Research Proposal



Research Topic (Global Challenge): Scarcity of water

Chosen Area of Focus: An investigation on the cost of 4 national taps in Singapore

Group Members’ Names:
a) Ong Dan Rei
b)Sakshi Garg
c)Anshiqa Agrawal (Leader)
d)Ezekiel Ng Fu Xiang

1. Statement of problem (framing our research topic):water shortage in different continents

One of the 21st century problems is shortage of water. Water scarcity is the lack of sufficient available water resources to meet the demands of water usage within a region. It currently affects around 2.8 billion people around the world. Water shortage has been a problem all over the world for a long time already. For example, Libya, Libya’s water resources is being deeply affected because of it political problem. It has a lack of water due to its unreliable water resources. They don’t have a proper way to attain water .In order to save themselves, Libya has aquifers deep below their desert sand.Another example of a country which was suffering water shortage but it is trying to control the problem. It is the popular country Australia. Their lack of water problem has been going on for several years already and the citizens know the importance of water. They have a dry continent resulting in numerous droughts. However, recently, there have been a flood. Although it is perceived as a misfortune, it is actually a silver lining. Australians can use filtration methods and use the abundant water to their advantage. Now the question, how do Australians cope with their water shortage problem so well ?There are numerous campaigns and are well educated on their country’s situation.People continuously raise awareness on water .There are signs stating water restrictions reminding the citizens of the water shortage. There have been talks about implementing ‘water inspectors’ who issue penalties when they notice wastage of water.Another example of shortage of water is India. Due to its extremely large population, providing water to everyone is not always easy. There are large shortages of water and children on the streets are forced to drink unhygienic water.The same goes for Africa where the pregnancy rate is extremely high and the population rate is extremely large. After so many examples, we cannot let the problem of water shortage slip .We have to do something on this issue.

2. Research Objectives

Singapore takes a serious view about water issues. In the year 1997, Malaysia threatened that it would cut the water supply to Singapore in retribution for criticisms by Singapore of policies in Malaysia. Singapore was calm at that time as they were not afraid of Malaysia cutting off their supply as Malaysia needed to sell water and Singapore was the only one. Malaysia ended up not cutting Singapore’s water supply. In a situation when our water supply is actually cut, Singapore is prepared to start a war with any country that dares to cut off Singapore’s water supply. Well, prevention is better than cure.

We will be researching on how Singapore sustains its water supply by having 4 main taps for water, Reclaimed Water, NEWater, Imported Water and Catchment Water. By focusing on the risk Singapore is taking just to prevent scarcity of water in singapore. We can improve on how we can prevent these kind of things by improving from what we think the government is doing wrong or thinking of other methods of doing it. This not only helps us but also helps countries that is need of water. How we protect our water supply is also important.

Cengage, L. (1998). Malaysia threatens to cut singapore's water supply.. Retrieved from threatens to cut Singapore's water supply.-a061435117

3. Literature Review (Brief summary of at least 3 sources that you have consulted with reference to your research topic)
200 wordS

Water is a very important resource in Singapore so we have the 4 national taps: Local catchment water, Imported water, NEWater and desalinated water. Sadly to say, NEWater and desalinated water are expensive compared to Local catchment and imported water. Because of this, the cost of water reflects its scarcity value in Singapore, which is a lot. Each time you pay for the water bill, there are the following fees: Water tariff, Water conversation tax, waterborne fee and Sanitary appliance fee. Seawater desalination, like any other water treatment technology or separation processes, requires the use of energy to produce water. As a drinking water treatment technology, however, seawater desalination requires more energy than most other water treatment methods. This is why Singapore cares a lot of our water problem, the costs are getting higher.  On a much larger scale, energy is necessary to meet the needs of society, which include obtaining, transporting, treating, and distributing potable water. On the other hand, Catchment area is an area where rainfall is collected.In addition, storm water collection ponds have also been constructed in some housing estates. These ponds also collect rainwater. Using this method is inexpensive but not viable in Singapore because it is so small and will have less land for other things.

4. Proposed Hypotheses

To overcome this in Singapore, to fix this problem 4 national taps have developed over time. 1. Imported water from Malaysia; 2. NEWater; 3. Desalinated water; 4. Catchment water. We are investigating the cost of these 4 national taps in Singapore. The cost here refers to the amount of energy that will be needed, manpower, equipment, social acceptance, land area/location, weather, political and money.
We will be researching on how all these factors affect each national tap. According to our sources,  For imported water, the factors that affect them the greatest would be money, political issues, weather, location, equipment needed to transport the water and social acceptance. Desalinated water requires a lot of money, energy, manpower, rain and equipment. The location is also important to avoid extra costs and social acceptance matters heavily too. Catchment water is very, very heavily dependent on weather. It requires money - lesser than desalinated water, energy, manpower, a lot of land area and equipment. NEWater requires land area, is specifically located, equipment. However, as for social acceptance, many people are sitting on the fence as recycled sewage water does not sound healthy.

5. Analysis of data

Best water source (conclusion)

Imported water from Malaysia
Desalinated Water
Catchment Water





Land Area/Location

Social acceptance

6. Overall assessment on feasibility and manageability of the research (justify why your research can be managed and results be achieved within the time-frame)

Our results can be achieved because of the numerous resources available on the internet. Within a snap of the finger, we were able to find knowledge. Research means the systematic investigation into and study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions. The template provided by our teachers enabled us to conduct our research in  a systematic way resulting in us meeting our deadline. The research can be managed easily as we also learnt about ‘Sons of Citation’ .This tool helps us to keep note of the websites we referred to and return to them later on.


1.) Paper, W. (2011, Novem). Seawater desalination power  consumption . Retrieved from

2.)S. Green, P. (2013, 0ct 15). Water desalination capacity climbs on power, energy needs. Retrieved from

3.)Jaden Afifah, F. (2013, Mar 22). Local catchment water. Retrieved from

4.)PUB. (2012, Aug 02). Local catchment water. Retrieved from

5.)PUB. (n.d.). Price of singapore's water. Retrieved from

6.)PUB. (2010). Grow with the flow collecting every drop of rain. Retrieved from

7.)MSN Weather. (n.d.). Monthly and yearly averages weather report. Retrieved from

8.)PUB. (2012, Aug 02). Local catchment water, the 1st national tap. Retrieved from
         (PUB, 2012)
9.)Reclaimed water. (2013, December 13). Retrieved from
        ("Reclaimed water," 2013)
10.)Singapore: Water treatment & wastewater recycling systems. (2009, July 21). Retrieved from
         ("Singapore: Water treatment," 2009)
11.)Tortajada, C. (2007, April 02). water management in singapore. Retrieved from 2 Apr 2007/Pages/Water-Management-in-Singapore.aspx
         (Tortajada, 2007)
12.)Tan, R. (2012, April 06). Pub to make 90% of singapore a catchment area. Retrieved from
        (Tan, 2012)

13.)Straits, T. (2013, Sept 18). Singapore opens second desalination plant, with twice the capacity of first. Retrieved from

14.)Eco, B. (2009). Desalination and sustainable water solutions: An interview with dr. corrado sommariva. Retrieved from

15.)Cooley, H. (2010, April). Seawater desalination: Panacea or hype?. Retrieved from

ddsdsdsdenafifah, F. (2013, Mar 22). Local catchment water. Retrieved from

17.)PUB. (2012, Aug 02). Local catchment water. Retrieved from

18.)PUB. (n.d.). Price of singapore's water. Retrieved from

19.)PUB. (2010). Grow with the flow collecting every drop of rain. Retrieved from

20.)MSN Weather. (n.d.). Monthly and yearly averages weather report. Retrieved from

21.) Gebel, J., & YĆ¼ce , S. (2007, January 03). A new approach to meet the growing demand of professional training for the operating and management staff of desalination plants . Retrieved from

22.)admin. (2012, Aug 01). 5 countries most threatened by water shortages. Retrieved from

23.)Lessons from australia's struggle with water scarcity. (n.d.). Retrieved from

24.)Wikipedia. (2014, Feb 09). Water restrictions in australia. Retrieved from

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