Friday, 6 July 2012

Environment of Singapore

Environment of Singapore 
Tham Chun Leong (23), Ryan Chew (20) and Poon Wai Kit (19)
The environment of Singapore consists of several areas, mainly water, air and land. All are equally as important due to the fact that they are necessary in our survival. Pollution in any of these three areas can affect the others and there would be a vicious cycle.
Air pollution is the most common form of pollution among the three as air is in our surroundings. Any leakage of particles from wheresoever, be it from a factory or a vehicle, would pollute the surrounding air rapidly. If a incinerator releases the ashes into the air, it may cause acid rain which plants would absorb and die soon after. If an animal were to eat it, they will fall ill and die. In turn, when we consume the meat, we would succumb to the infected meat and fall ill.
The second most common form of pollution is water pollution. Water can be polluted by factories, ships and most of it are caused by either human error or by mishaps. The biggest form of water pollution is when humans dispose hazardous material into water.  If water sources are polluted, they would be too dangerous to consume. Over 3 million people die from water pollution yearly. These deaths come from developing countries. However, developed countries, such as China, suffer from this problem too. It is due to factories disposing their chemical waste into the nearby river. Such disposal is easy for them, however it would spiral into a array of problems, mostly irreversible environmental damage. 
The last type of pollution is land pollution. It occurs due to litter and the release of hazardous materials into the surroundings. It happens due to human absentmindedness. Litter disposed by humans are mostly not biodegradable, meaning that it would remain for thousands of years. Hazardous material contaminates the soil and the plants on it. In turn, we would fall ill too. Contaminated materials in the soil will also seep into the water, polluting it.
In Singapore, we have many measures against all these pollution.The Government has been pushing messages across about littering. We are encouraged to keep Singapore litter free and also to recycle. Flouting the rules come with a heavy penalty, and sometimes Corrective Work Order. 
Singapore’s potable water comes mainly from Malaysia. We also have NEWater, which is treated wastewater, rain catchment reservoirs and desalinated water. Singapore is trying to reduce our reliance on Malaysia for water as much as possible, thus NEWater was established. Due to our extensive network of reservoirs (17 reservoirs in total), Singapore is one of the few countries to use rainwater on a large scale basis for water supply.
The air in Singapore is regularly monitored on a daily basis. Refineries, power stations and ships are major emitters of Sulphur Dioxide, a common type of pollutant in Singapore. Vehicles are also a contributor, and the National Environment Agency takes action against vehicle owners who possess vehicles which emit exceptionally large amounts of exhaust. Sometimes, haze occurs as a result of forest fires originating from Sumatra and Kalimantan. The air quality in Singapore is monitored by the use of the Pollutant Standards Index.
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