IWP kicked off its lunchtime seminar series in 2018 with a full house. The audience included students from the National Junior College, Singapore.
Dr Joon Chuah presented the results of his study – a collaborative research between the Institute of Water Policy and Asst. Prof. Winston Chow from the Department of Geography (NUS). In this study, they (i.) quantified and identified drought episodes using the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) in the neighbouring regions of Singapore and Johor, Malaysia, and (ii.) qualitatively examined each region’s drought impacts and consequent responses through archival research over the past fifty years. The data indicate that both frequencies and intensities of drought episodes in Singapore and Johor have increased over time, suggesting greater exposure to this hazard.
However, there are notable variations in drought impacts in Singapore and Johor, and how each region addresses water resource management to drought with varying degrees of success. Despite the geographical proximity, significant variations in regional adaptive capacities suggest that different drought vulnerabilities exist. The efficacy of drought responses over different time scales was discussed. Finally, a combination of demand- and supply-side policies was suggested, especially in the long-term, to reduce vulnerability to this droughts.