Everyday, we are using 430 million gallons of water in Singapore, which is enough to fill 782 Olympic-sized swimming pools. Last year on average, the amount of water used per person was about 154 litres. Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean announced in 2018 that Singapore was planning to lower water usage to 130 litres by 2030: “We need to do more to ensure a sustainable and resilient water supply for the future. We need to be prepared for potential threats to our water supply, like extreme weather conditions, or major oil or other pollutant spills that can affect our desalination plants.”
How can the average person lower their water usage? Here are some simple but effective tips to save water. Remember, little actions add up!
1. Limit your shower time
According to the PUB’s Household Water Consumption study, 29% of water usage went towards showers. We can set a time limit of 10-15 minutes of running water but switch the tap off while soaping. Since 2018, some new BTOs are already using smart shower devices which show real time water consumption, possibly saving 5 litres of water per person per day.
2.Wash your clothes efficiently
With a scale of one to four ticks of water efficient washing machines as rated by PUB,you can choose to buy a water efficient washing machine. According to the PUB, a washing machine with four ticks uses 6 litres of water or less per kg of washing, while a machine with three ticks uses 6 to 9 litres of water.
When possible, wash your clothes only when there is a full load. According to the study, 15% of water usage was used in laundry. Prepare a huge laundry basket for your household and only wash it when the washing machine is filled with a full load of clothes to save as much water as possible.
3. Always use half flush
According to the study, 17% water usage was for flushing the toilet. To save water, we can opt to use the half flush.
4. Change your shower head and water tap to water efficient taps
We can start to save water by changing to water efficient taps such as water efficient shower heads or low flow taps. A standard shower head uses 12-22 litres per minute, while an efficient shower head uses 9 litres per minute. Low flow taps save about 30% of water. We can also install thimbles on various taps and adjust the valves to reduce the water flow.
5. Get a free water saving kit from PUB
Request for a water saving kit if you do not have a water efficient tap. Each kit consists of 4 thimbles for taps and 2 thimbles for your showerhead. It can reduce 5% of your monthly water consumption.
6. Rinse vegetables or fruits in container
According to the study, 16% of water consumption was in the kitchen. When washing fruits or vegetables, we can use a container to contain the water in order not to let water run continuously.
7. Consider using a dishwasher
Choosing a water efficient dishwasher (with four ticks) will save you up to 32.8 litres of water every 5 minutes in comparison with running a water tap by washing with hands.
8. Don’t let the water run while you are brushing your teeth
12% of water usage was used by the bathroom tap according to the study. We use most of the water when brushing our teeth and washing our face with the bathroom tap, so remember to stop the tap when you can.