Minister calls for lifestyle changes to save water as drought looms

Small lifestyle changes can make a big difference.

That was the message from Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean at a community event to mark World Water Day on Saturday.

The current dry spell is a stark reminder that Singaporeans need to play their part in reducing water consumption, he said.

They can do this by taking shorter showers, running washing machines only with a full load and brushing their teeth with a mug of water instead of a running tap, The Straits Times quoted him as saying. "When added up, these savings will help stretch our water resources further," he said.

Last month was the driest February on record in Singapore. Forecasters have warned that this year may see the return of the El Nino weather phenomenon. This is expected to cause droughts in South-east Asia.

Activities aimed at spreading the water conservation message were held islandwide on Saturday, with a month-long campaign that aims to reach out to more than 200,000 people, Channel NewsAsia reported.

Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who addressed some 3,000 people at Jurong Lake, had a similar message.

"I didn't know that if you reduce your shower time by one minute, it will save 9 litres of water," he was quoted as saying. "I'm told that many of our younger generation just leave their shower on while they are soaping themselves. So turn the shower off when it's not necessary."


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