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PUB to send advisories on water conservation methods

National water agency PUB will send advisories on water conservation methods to 25,000 non-domestic users including town councils.

SINGAPORE: National water agency PUB will send advisories on water conservation methods to 25,000 non-domestic users including town councils.

But Environment and Water Resources Minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, who was asked to comment on the prolonged dry spell, said Singapore will not have to start water rationing at this point of time.

He also said he wanted to assure Singaporeans that no matter how long the dry spell goes on, Singapore "will be alright".

At the flag-off for an annual road run by National Junior College, Dr Balakrishnan reminded students that Singapore is very fortunate to be where it is today.

This is because there were plans put in place to cater to the water needs of the country.

He said the reason why Singapore still has water in its reservoirs today is because of forward planning by previous generations for a desalination plant and to recycle water.

Dr Balakrishnan said that each day, 100 million gallons of water is desalinated and over 110 million gallons of water is recycled.

This is about 55 percent of Singapore’s water needs and is being used to help buffer water levels.

But conservation is still essential and in further efforts to reduce water usage, the minister highlighted that water usage will be cut in many areas.

For instance, in parks, only heritage trees will be watered using non-potable water.

Town councils may also reduce the frequency of their cleaning using water.

Companies are being encouraged to consider switching off their water features.

These efforts are more essential now as water usage over the last two months has gone up significantly.

Dr Balakrishnan said: "We are using an additional 15 million gallons per day. My short-term target is to bring that down. Let's try to reduce the water consumption back to a more normal level and then see if we can bring it further.”

When asked about the possibility of water rationing, Dr Balakrishnan said: "Some people have approached me to say, ‘maybe you should just do an exercise to remind people about the importance of water’. I've told them I will consider it.

“But at this point in time, fortunately, we don't need to do it. Our backs are not against the wall and we are not going to rush into things like that. Let's focus on education, let's focus on passing the message and all of us doing our own part.

“Let's all do our part in saving this precious resource so that we can all continue to enjoy it.” 

Dr Balakrishnan also said that water tariffs will not be increased at this point in time.

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