YEAR ONE INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH STUDIES
Research Topic: Environment Of Singapore
Chosen Area of Focus: A study of perceptions and attitudes of Singaporeans have towards NEWater.
Framing our research topic:
Our chosen area of focus is “NEWater”. Most of the residents in Singapore buy drinking water and quite a handful of them find the prospect of drinking NEWater very unappetizing due to the fact that it comes from the sewage. Hence, we have chosen this topic to create an awareness about NEWater and that we should not be taking it for granted.
A study by the United Nations states, that about 1.2 billion people around the world, will experience a lack of safe drinking water, in the next twenty five years. For a small country like Singapore, with a population of 4.5 million people, how does it ensure that everyone has access to drinking water? Singapore had little water resources to begin with. In the early days, Singapore’s two main water sources were its reservoirs, and water imports from its neighbor, Malaysia. In 1963, water rationing had to be carried out as there was water shortage As a nation, Singapore had to increase self-sufficiency and long term water security. This is where NEWater comes in. NEWater is high grade reclaimed water produced from treated used water. It has passed more than thirty thousand scientific tests and surpasses the World Health Organization’s requirements. “(Foo Shu-Yi, Charlene Tan and Jacqueline Seng) NEWater will become an important part of the Singapore government strategy to double the country's source of water supply while reducing the dependence on water imports from Malaysia. NEWater is reported to be much cheaper than desalination, with half the capital costs and one-fourth the energy running costs.”(“Using Reclaimed”)By 2020, this reclaimed water will meet 40 per cent of Singapore's water needs, up from the current 30 per cent.Only 2 per cent of Newater produced daily is mixed with raw reservoir water before it is treated to become drinking water.“(Cassandra Chew)So there is really harm in drinking NEWater!
Reasons for choice of topic:
NEWater may seem very common among Singaporeans as whenever people ask us how we get our water, we will normally say, “ We get our water from our reservoirs and our water treatment plant-NEWater.” and that answer has become so common that people sometimes take NEWater for granted and think about it as something very common, something without any special features, something that appears useless. Hence, we are researching on NEWater because we think it is special, important to Singaporeans and not something to be taken for granted because without NEWater, there is actually a very big chance that we will be desalinating seawater for fresh water which is a very expensive process and there might also be chances of overspending money for just the water that we are drinking.
Feasibility of the research:
- There is a need for our research, as many people do not realize the importance of NEWater and hence, tend to look down on it as it made from sewage water. Thus, our research can create an awareness about NEWater and perhaps improve the mindset of the people.
- It is possible to carry out and complete the project, as there are many people in Singapore who know of NEWater that we can survey on and interview. As most of the people are active on social networking such as FaceBook, we can also conduct online surveys on NEWater
- The proposed course of action is logical and realistic as it can be completed with the help of some students who would be willing to do a survey,social networking and with our hard work and group effort. :D
- The research provides sufficient opportunity for generation of ideas, as we will have to come up with ideas to make our research a good and a reliable one. As for analysis and evaluation of ideas, we will certainly have many opportunities to analyze information and evaluate ideas on how to go about deciding what to do next. For example, going to the NEWater plant itself and inquiring.
Manageability of the research:
We will need about 2.5 months and will not need much resources, probably just the internet.
Some people may not want to complete the survey but it should be just a small minority.
Accessibility of the information required:
Our information can be accessed through the references(online websites) but it may not be totally accessible as we may have taken the information and thought of something else which seems better and we might have put it down. Accessibility of our information is and is not reliable but those are the sources where we get the information which is required.
 Foo Shu-Yi, Charlene Tan and Jacqueline Seng (n.d.).Radio Feature 4: Singapore: NEWater.Retrieved from http://www.amic.org.sg/new/adb/radio/4-NEWater.pdf
 ”Using Reclaimed” (Tuesday 13 August 2002).Reclaimed Water: Singapore introduces NEWater. Retrieved from http://www.source.irc.nl/e_source_news/e_source/source_news_sections/technology_update/reclaimed_water_singapore_introduces_newater
 Cassandra Chew (4 May 2010). Newater to meet 40% of Singapore’s needs. Retrieved from http://wildsingaporenews.blogspot.sg/2010/05/newater-to-meet-40-of-singapores-needs.html