Source A:"Singapore has began adding recycled sewage water to its reservoirs in a step aimed at pulling itself of dependence on Malaysia. By 2011, about 2.5% of all tap water would include NEWater....

Source A:
"Singapore has began adding recycled sewage water to its reservoirs in a step aimed at pulling itself of dependence on Malaysia. By 2011, about 2.5% of all tap water would include NEWater. Recognizing that Singapore has limited natural resources, we are taking measures to ensure that the future generations of Singaporeans will never be short of drinking water. By 2061, Singapore could be totally self-sufficient in water. We can be totally self-sufficient, if there is no new water agreement with Malaysia."--- From an adapted interview of Mr Goh Chok Tong.

(a) What does the source tell you about the water issue?

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This source tells us two main things about the water issue.  One of these is a fact having to do with physical facts about the natural world (how much water there is).  The other is a fact about the human world and the forces (nationalism, in particular) that tend to drive human beings.

The first thing that this source tells us is that water, at least in some parts of the world like Singapore, is in short supply.  The source shows us that Singapore is willing to use recycled sewage water in its regular water supply.  To many people, this would be rather disgusting, even though they should know intellectually that the water is now pure.  If the government of Singapore is willing to go to such lengths, there must be a serious shortage of water.

The second thing that this source tells us is that water can be seen as a matter of national security.  States feel that they will be vulnerable and weak if they rely on other states for their water supplies.  This tells us something about nationalism and about international relations.  It tells us that people are nationalistic enough that they want to be self-sufficient rather than relying on other countries.  It also tells us that governments fear that other governments will be willing to use water as a weapon.

Thus, this source tells us something about the amount of water in the world and the way that human beings perceive the importance of that water for their countries.