Urban Water Management

Singapore Water Story

Lead Researchers: Asit Biswas and Cecilia Tortajada

The objective of this study is to analyse how Singapore has managed to change its urban water management from that of a third world country when it became independent in 1965, to being one of the best in the world some three decades later. The “story” will analyse how this extraordinary transformation was achieved, what were the main conditions that enabled the city-state to make such remarkable improvements possible, what lessons can the world learn from this experience, and what is their potential replicability.


Good Practices for Urban Water Management in Asia

Lead Researcher: Tan Cheon Kheong

The Good Practices for Urban Water Management in Asia Project is supported by an LOA with ADB to develop case studies on 8 Asian urban centers (including Singapore) that have experienced significant improvements in urban water and wastewater management during the past 10 years, and to identify good practices in the selected urban centers.

Related Event(s):

  • Workshop on Good Practices for Urban Water Management in Asia

Urban Water Management in China

Lead Researcher: Tan Cheon Kheong

In 2009, a case study on Shenzhen was developed in IWP’s project on Good Practices for Urban Water Management in Asia. Shenzhen is an example of a Chinese city whose water sector has been successfully reformed. The Urban Water Management in China Project will study other selected cities in China. The objectives are to draw lessons from these cities, and to examine what the less successful cities (in urban water management) could adopt from the experiences of the successful Chinese cities and Singapore.


Comparative Analysis of Reuse-Water: Global Experiences (for and in collaboration with PUB)

Lead Researcher to be firmed up

An earlier study conducted by IWP researchers focused on a comparison of Singapore and Queensland. The proposed global study will encompass several cities in the world which have water reuse policies, programs and facilities. The idea is to learn from other experiences on the fine-tuning of Singapore’s policies as well as outlining collaboration and cooperation possibilities between Singapore and the other cities.


Drinking Water Tariff and Affordability Across Major World Cities Cities (for and in collaboration with PUB)

Lead Researchers: Bhanoji Rao and Fan Mingxuan

When it comes to pricing of drinking water, popular opinions swing from one extreme (free supply) to another (marginal cost pricing). While treating water as a scarce resource implies that drinking water should be adequately priced, there is no information in the public domain on how the low income groups consider the expenditure burden. The proposed study is aimed at collecting and analyzing detailed cross-city tariff structures both latest and historical. The study would also attempt to look at water consumption by households and affordability at one or two lowest income levels as well as over time. The changes in tariff policy over time in the selected cities would also be compared and evaluated to draw lessons for cities that may eventually have to opt for proper water pricing.
The first phase of this project will focus on the current round of water price adjustments in various cities of China.


Case Research (Teaching Cases)

Lead Researcher: Rita Padawangi

The project aims at further development of teaching cases on water management and public policy within the water sector setting, for use at LKYSPP as well as for wider dissemination and exchange.


Evaluation of Singapore’s “ABC” of Water

Lead Researcher: Rita Padawangi

This research is a sociological and economic study of the ABC Waters program in Singapore. “Active, Beautiful and Clean” water has been an important component of water catchment and development activities of the Government of Singapore. PUB initiated demonstration projects at three of the most popular water bodies are Mac Ritchie Reservoir, Bedok Reservoir, and a stretch of Kallang River. These projects would be showpieces of what could be achieved through ABC Waters. The program is to be implemented in phases, starting with the first five-year plan (2007-2011) comprising twenty-eight projects at an estimated cost of S$300 million. The objective of the proposed study is to obtain a fairly simple evaluation of the program that has been implemented so far. The study focuses on how the three demonstration projects enhance social activities, interactions, and relationships, as well as the economic aspects of the surrounding areas.