Singapore’s Water Story
In the tiny island nation of Singapore, water has always been a precious resource. With limited natural water sources, the nation has forged ahead with a comprehensive approach to water management. Today, a significant portion of Singapore’s water supply comes from recycled wastewater, also known as NEWater, and desalination plants, which have drastically reduced our reliance on imported water. However, this progress should not encourage complacency; it should motivate us to do more to safeguard our water future.
Water demand in Singapore is currently about 430 million gallons a day–– enough to fill 782 Olympic-sized swimming pools. It is projected that Singapore’s water demand could almost double by 2060. In light of the recent revision of water prices, starting in April 2024, let’s look at some ways we can chart a course towards reducing water usage and achieving water efficiency.
Reducing Water Usage: A Collective Responsibility
Reducing water usage starts at home, but it requires a collective effort from all sectors of society. Here’s a practical checklist that individuals can use to become more environmentally conscious and build good habits regarding water efficiency:
Embrace smart home technologies that help monitor and control water consumption. Smart water meters, leak detection systems, and automated irrigation can significantly reduce wastage. Monitor your water usage through PUB’s online water consumption portal and set water-saving goals.
- Fix any visible leaks in faucets, pipes, and toilets promptly.
Regularly check for and fix leaks to avoid wasting precious treated water, which is energy-intensive to produce. If your smart water meter has been installed and you have a MySmartWaterMeter account, log in to your account to receive alerts on suspected leaks. If you don’t have a smart water meter, you can check if there is a leak by turning off all taps and appliances using water, and a check your water meter. If the dial continues to run, there is likely a water leak.
- Install low-flow faucets and showerheads to reduce water usage.
- Consider installing a dual-flush toilet or place a displacement device in the tank.
- Opt for a broom instead of a hose when cleaning driveways and sidewalks.
- Run the dishwasher and washing machine only with full loads.
- Replace outdated, water-guzzling appliances with water-efficient alternatives.
Singapore’s Mandatory Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme (WELS) helps you make informed choices when making a purchase. A product is graded with 0, 1, 2, or 3 ticks depending on how water efficient it is.
An appliance with 3 ticks would be most effective in reducing water consumption. Image courtesy of PUB Singapore
Be mindful of the amount of water you use in daily activities like showering and cooking. You may monitor your water usage through PUB’s online water consumption portal and set water-saving goals.
- Collect and reuse cold water while waiting for it to heat up (e.g., in a bucket) for watering plants.
- Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth or scrubbing dishes.
- Water your garden during the cooler parts of the day to minimize evaporation.
- Collect rainwater in barrels to use for outdoor watering.
- Set up a rain sensor on your sprinkler system to prevent unnecessary watering during rainy periods.
Which water-saving habits are you adding to your everyday life, and which are you already doing?