Parliament Q&A

Written reply by Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, to Parliamentary Question on Water Rationing on 1 April 2019

TOPICS: Sustainability

Answer by Minister:

I thank the member for his call for all Singaporeans to use water prudently. While we continue to plan ahead and invest in infrastructure and R&D to ensure our water security, we must sustain our push for water conservation. The costly but necessary investments in our water infrastructure will be for naught if we do not manage our water demand. We need to continue to work hard to encourage all Singaporeans to use water prudently.

2.         We believe that such good habits are best cultivated from young. Since 2016, PUB has worked with schools to organise Water Rationing Exercises in the month of March, as part of Singapore World Water Day. This year, approximately 47,000 students from 116 schools, ranging from pre-schools to tertiary institutions, participated in these exercises. This is the largest number of participating schools to date. In addition, PUB worked with the Ministry of Education to incorporate water conservation topics in the curriculum. These help to reinforce the value of water amongst the students and the need to “Make Every Drop Count”.

 3.         For our larger community, PUB takes a multi-pronged approach to encourage water conservation and empower individuals to better manage their water usage. PUB has been carrying out Automated Meter Reading trials, most recently in Punggol and Yuhua. As part of the trials, residents were able to access their water consumption data in near real-time through a mobile app, as well as participate in various water conservation themed games. These have helped to encourage the residents to change their water usage behaviour and adopt good water-saving habits. As the trials have shown encouraging results so far, PUB is exploring how this system can be progressively implemented nation-wide. 

 4.         PUB has also put in place a mandatory water efficiency labelling scheme, or MWELS, to help consumers make more informed purchasing decisions. We have set minimum water efficiency standards for water fittings and appliances. To further drive the use of more efficient water fittings under the MWELS, the minimum efficiency standards for all fittings will be further raised to 2-ticks from today, 1 April 2019.

 5.      The responsibility of water conservation does not fall on households alone. Businesses must also play a part. For the non-domestic sector, large water users are required to prepare and submit Water Efficiency Management Plans, which help them to better understand their water usage and identify ways to enhance their water efficiency. PUB supports businesses implementing water-efficient projects through the Water Efficiency Fund. PUB is currently working with the Singapore Environment Council to develop a Green Labelling Scheme for commercial dishwashers, commercial washer extractors and high pressure jet machines in Singapore, to encourage businesses such as hotels, F&B outlets and town councils to purchase water efficient equipment for their business operations.

 6.         Water is a scarce resource that should not be taken for granted. I urge everyone to do our part to use water wisely, so that we can continue to enjoy it for years to come.


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