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Singapore signs a new water agreement with Johor 24th Nov 1990

Singapore signed a new water agreement with the Malaysian state of Johor on 24 November 1990. The agreement was a supplement to the 1962 Johor River water agreement; both agreements would expire in 2061. The 1990 agreement allowed Singapore to build a dam across Sungei Linggiu (a tributary of the Johor River) to facilitate the extraction of water from the Johor River.[1] This was an important arrangement as Singapore was unable to draw the 250 million gallons (approximately 1.14 billion L) per day of water it was entitled to under the 1962 water agreement unless dams were built over certain parts of the river.[2] In exchange for the Linggiu Dam, Singapore would compensate Johor RM$320 million for the land needed to build the dam and its surrounding facilities. This was in addition to a premium of RM18,000 per ha (per 10,000 sq m) and an annual rent of RM30 for every 1,000 sq ft (per 92.9 sq m) of the land.[3] Singapore would also bear the cost of constructing and maintaining the dam, which would be transferred to Johor at a later date.[4]

In addition to the construction of the Linggiu Dam, the 1990 water agreement also allowed Singapore to draw beyond the daily limit of 250 million gallons of untreated water from Johor provided in the 1962 agreement.[5] The additional water would be processed in Johor, and its price would be determined by a formula based on the price of water sold in Singapore and the price of water sold in Johor.[6] Together with the water agreement signed, there was also another agreement signed with Malaysian oil company Petronas that secured the supply of 150 million cu ft (about 4.2 million cu m) of natural gas from Terengganu to Singapore.[7]

Talks leading up to the 1990 water agreement had begun as far back as August 1982 when Singapore and Malaysia agreed to study ways, including the joint development of new water facilities, to enable both Singapore and Johor to draw more water from the Johor River to meet their future needs.[8] However, progress was slow as negotiations were hampered by several obstacles, including the premium for the gas and additional water to be paid by Singapore. It required the prime ministers of both Singapore and Malaysia to step in on numerous occasions between August 1986 and January 1988 before a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) – covering the future sales of water and gas to Singapore and two proposed transport links between Singapore and Johor – was concluded on 28 June 1988.[9]  Following the signing of the1990 water agreement, Singapore proceeded to build the Linggiu Dam. The dam, together with other saddle embankments and ancillary works to create the Linggiu Reservoir, was completed in April 1993 at a cost of S$310 million.[10] The facility enabled Singapore to draw up to 250 million gallons of water per day from the Johor River.
[11]

References
1. Singapore. Parliament. Parliamentary Debates: Official Report. (2003, January 25). Annex D: The Agreement between the Government of the State of Johore and the Public Utilities Board of the Republic of Singapore signed on 24 November 1990 (Vol. 75, cols 2665–2730). Call no.: RSING 328.5957 SIN.
2. Singapore. Parliament. Parliamentary Debates: Official Report. (2003, January 25). Debate on the President’s Address (Vol. 56, cols. 225–226). Call no.: RSING 328.5957 SIN.
3. Parliamentary debates: Official report, 25 Jan 2003, Annex D: The Agreement between the Government of the State of Johore and the Public Utilities Board of the Republic of Singapore signed on 24 November 1990 (Vol. 75, cols 2665-2730).
4. Parliamentary Debates: Official Report, 25 Jan 2003, Annex D: The Agreement between the Government of the State of Johore and the Public Utilities Board of the Republic of Singapore signed on 24 November 1990 (Vol. 75, cols 2665-2730).
5. Parliamentary Debates: Official Report, 25 Jan 2003, Annex D: The Agreement between the Government of the State of Johore and the Public Utilities Board of the Republic of Singapore signed on 24 November 1990 (Vol. 75, cols 2665-2730).
6. Parliamentary Debates: Official Report, 25 Jan 2003, Annex D: The Agreement between the Government of the State of Johore and the Public Utilities Board of the Republic of Singapore signed on 24 November 1990 (Vol. 75, cols 2665-2730).
7. Han, F. K. (1990, November 25). S'pore, Johor sign new water pact. The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
8. Accord on settling the outstanding issues. (1982, August 24). The Straits Times, p. 9. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
9. Cheong, Y. S., & Ismail Kassim. (1988, June 28). Memorandum of understanding to be signed todayThe Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
10. PUB to invest $7.8b over next 5 years for utility needs. (1993, June 16). The Straits Times, p. 40. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
11. Parliamentary Debates: Official Report, 23 Jan 2005, Debate on the President’s Address (Vol. 56, col. 225).

 

The information in this article is valid as at 2014 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.

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