Singapore’s Liquid National Identity

Kira Alexandra ROSE*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review


Singapore today may not bring to mind an image of a water-scarce nation. In spite of its history of British colonization (1819–1963) and independence from Malaysia as recently as 1965, within a single generation this “little red dot” has become one of the most prosperous and technologically innovative countries in the world. That said, water has long been tethered to this young nation’s identity and continuity. Singapore is water-scarce due to its limited land area onto which rain can fall, as well as its lack of natural aquifers, lakes, and groundwater (Bhullar 154; Tortajada 2006). Over time, its combination of profit-based initiatives with altruism, steps toward self-sufficiency, investment in research and development, and sharing of water management strategies have helped Singapore brand itself as a “Global Hydrohub” that “seeks to leverage growing concerns over global water problems” (Joo and Heng 210). In the process, it has taken adaptation measures that already provide buffers against climate change impacts
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)817-838
JournalISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment
Issue number3
Early online date23 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - 11 Oct 2021


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