Contribute To A Sustainable, Water-Secure Singapore
A little shout out to UN World Water Day 2018
In view of the upcoming UN World Water Day on 22 March 2018, I thought I would share something about the importance of water.
With free access to clean water, it is easy to take things for granted. But in 2015, Word Resources Institute considered Singapore as one of the most water-stressed cities. Water-stressed meant that Singaporeans are using water at such a fast rate that it expose ourselves to the risk of water scarcity and shortages.
Most Singaporeans don’t feel it but we are constantly facing such risk. Remember the panic we had when Malaysia, one of our major water suppliers, experienced dry spells at key reservoirs that we tap on?
Water consumption will continually increase as the country grow. Singaporeans cannot solely rely on the government to secure sustainable water supply. Every one of us should also do their part to save this precious and finite resources. Sustainable water management requires collective effort and commitment from all parties. By doing so, you are not only saving money but also protecting freshwater ecosystems, reducing carbon footprint and leaving sustainable water supply for future use/enjoyment.
Get started with small commitments to reduce water wastage. If you are feeling motivated to make a bigger contribution to mother earth, I have listed a few methods at the lower portion of this article:
Maximise Laundry Load Size
The more frequent your laundry is, the more water you spent. So why not accumulate more clothes and wash them at the maximum load that your washing machine can handle?
Just make sure that the dirty clothes stay dry. Clothes that are kept damp for too long tend to produce a musky stench.
Use Lesser Soap
Lesser soap means lesser water needed to wash the soap off!
Many also have the misconception that more soap equates to better cleaning results. In actual fact, one pump of dishwashing is more than enough for a batch of cleaning. Only add more pumps if you find that it is insufficient.
Same goes for laundry... the recommended amount of detergent you see on detergent packaging is usually much more than what you actually need. Experiment and find out the amount you need for your usual load of clothing.
Reuse Clean Water
There are many household activities where you can collect reusable, clean water. To name a few... you can collect them when you wash rice/veggies, iron clothes, or before a hot bath (specifically when you release cold water before the hot water flow).
Water from these activities can be used for cleaning, mopping, plants, or even as skin care (applies to rice water only)!
Use “Half Flush”
Most Singaporean public and home toilets are equipped with dual flush toilet bowls. Recall seeing toilet bowl with two buttons? Those are dual flush toilets. Each button produced different amounts of water. The smaller button is designed for liquid waste while the bigger button is for solid waste.
Differentiating between the two buttons and using them at appropriate occasion can save you a lot of water!
Avoid Washing with Running Tap
If allowing your tap to run is a crime, many of us will be brand as criminals. Whether it is during a shower, dishwashing or when you are brushing your teeth, many of us just let the tap run habitually or out of convenience. For me, I am guilty of running warm water throughout my shower to enjoy the heat (ops!). But for Mother Nature and my wallet, I will be only turning on the tap when I need to rinse my body.
An alternative method is to store water within a container (e.g. sink when dishwashing or mug when brushing teeth). You can save a lot of water that way! For example, brushing your teeth during a running tap for two minutes waste 12 litres of water. With a small mug, you only need 0.5 litres! That is 11.5 litres saved!
Choose Washing Machine with 4 Ticks
PUB has been helping willing individuals to achieve their water conservation goals with the introduction of water efficiency labels on watering fittings and appliances. You can see these labels on washing machines, taps or mixers, flushing cisterns and urinal flush valves. Ideally, the four-tick label is the most water-saving. However, it also may require more monetary commitment as well.
Change to Dual Flush Toilet
- Your estate is built between 1987 to 1992
- You are under the community assistance scheme
- You own a 9-litre single flush toilet bowl or squad
Then congratulations! You are entitled to free toilet renovation under the Water Closet Replacement Project.
If only met the last criteria, you will most probably bear the renovation cost yourself. This may cost you a few hundred dollars, but the amount you save on your utility bill will probably cover it back.
Purchase Atomizing Showerhead
Atomizing showerhead is a pretty new invention (I mean… when you compared to the conventional showerhead...) that compresses water to tiny droplets. The showerhead is claimed to be able to increase the surface area of the water drops and allow water to come in contact with your body for a clean and satisfying bath at ¾ the volume of a normal shower.
I haven’t tried it personally, but if it claims to be able to save so much water and provide equally comfortable bath… then it sounds like a darn good deal to me! It does cost a sum (ranging USD $120-400) and requires overseas shipment.
PUB is currently campaigning around Singapore to encourage more Singaporeans to join the water conservation cause. You can see them around several road shows at different location and dates. If you are looking for more water-saving tips, I am sure they are more than willing to share their knowledge with you!
Cheers to a sustainable Singapore!