A Look at Water’s Relevance through the Singapore Business Lens

According to CSR Asia, rising temperatures are going to impact the business continuity and resilience through disaster-related effects on operations and supply chains. Water shortages will affect the ability to do business and will inevitably increase production costs, CSR Asia says. Floods and droughts will require the private sector’s disaster preparedness efforts.

Here’s an excerpt from the CSR Asia piece, written by Justin Teo.

“The abnormal prolonged dry spell and drought that hit South East Asia in early 2014 resulted in forest fires in Indonesia’s Riau province, lower output growth from commodity farming activities in Indonesia and Malaysia, and open water bodies including ponds and reservoirs shrank substantially in Singapore threatening its water supply. The World Resources Institute Aqueduct project evaluated, mapped and scored the water risk of 180 countries. Most Asian countries are in the range of medium-to-high to extremely high and Singapore is ranked the highest out of all countries world-wide in terms of water risk. Undeniably, water is a prominent issue in Asia.”

Some interesting information about Singapore’s water supply strategy as it appeared on csr-asia.com (link below).

  1. Desalinated water – Two desalination water plants treat 455,000 cubic meters of water through a pre-treatment process to remove suspended particles and reverse osmosis. This meets 25% of Singapore’s current water demand.
  2. NEWater – The pillar of Singapore’s water sustainability, is high-grade reclaimed water produced through advanced membrane technologies and ultraviolet disinfection making it ultra clean and safe to drink. NEWater is also mainly used for industrial and air-con cooling purposes at wafer fabrication plants, industrial estates and commercial buildings. NEWater currently meets 30% of the nation’s water demand.
  3. Local catchment water – Land scarcity requires the nation to maximise land available to harvest rainwater. Rainwater is collected through a network of drains, canals, rivers and storm water collection points before it is channelled to reservoirs for storage. In 2011, two-thirds of Singapore’s land surface was used for water catchment purposes.
  4. Water imported from Malaysia – Singapore has been importing water from Malaysia through a bilateral agreement which expires in 2061.

According to the article, since the non-domestic sector is the largest consumer of water, Singapore’s government has called on businesses to contribute to the country’s sustainable development.

The CSR Asia piece provides these recommendations for Singapore business to consider:

  • Leverage on the Public Utilities Board (PUB)’s Water Efficiency Fund to co-fund water saving measures that yield at least 10% reduction in water consumption within the business.
  • Join PUB’s 10% Water Challenge which aims to enhance the capability of businesses to improve their water efficiency and reduce water consumption through a joint water audit which benchmarks against similar organisations and identifies opportunities for improvement.
  • Measure your water footprint to assess the magnitude of potential environmental impacts related to water and to identify ways to reduce those impacts from known guidelines such as the ISO 14046:2014 standard.
  • Join international community networks focusing on water sustainability such as the Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate and the Water Footprint Network to build your business’s capabilities.

Perhaps these recommendations can be applied to other countries/cities.

 

For more information, check out the original article (our source of all information above) here: http://csr-asia.com/csr-asia-weekly-news-detail.php?id=12447