PUB, the national water agency, thanks Mr Francis Cheng for his letter ("Save water - even without incentives"; Forum Online, last Thursday).
The recent dry weather underscores the importance of making every drop count, and we are happy that individuals like Mr Cheng are coming forward with suggestions to urge everyone to conserve water. If everyone makes a personal and collective commitment to use water wisely, the amount of water we save will help stretch our water resources.
In order to optimise water demand in Singapore, PUB prices water to reflect its scarcity value, mandates measures to prevent wastage and promotes public education on water conservation.
The Mandatory Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme - using a rating system - helps consumers to make informed choices when purchasing water fittings and appliances such as taps and mixers, flushing cisterns and washing machines. The more ticks a product has, the more water efficient it is.
To encourage the use of more water-efficient household appliances, only washing machines with at least a one-tick rating will be allowed for sale from next month. The PUB will further raise this minimum requirement for washing machines from one tick to two ticks next year.
Mr Cheng's idea of having a timer to track shower time is also a good one, and is something we are studying.
In addition, the PUB has established a comprehensive public education programme with the 3P (people, private and public) sectors to promote water conservation as a way of life.
The initiatives under this programme include the 10-Litre Challenge and Water Efficient Homes for the domestic sector, and the 10 per cent Challenge and Water Efficient Buildings programmes for the non-domestic sector.
Through these efforts, we have successfully reduced Singapore's per capita water consumption from 165 litres a day in 2003 to the current 151 litres a day.
We will continue to look at ways to manage water consumption so as to lower this to 140 litres by 2030.
Chong Hou Chun
Director, Water Supply (Network) Department
PUB, the national water agency
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