SINGAPORE: As part of new initiatives to enhance water efficiency and encourage water conservation in Singapore, PUB will phase out less water efficient fittings, said Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli on Wednesday (Mar 8).
From April 2019, the national water agency will mandate the sales, supply and installation of water fittings with at least two ticks in all new and existing premises undergoing renovation. Dishwashers will also be included in the mandatory water efficiency labelling scheme from October next year, added Mr Masagos at his ministry's Committee of Supply debate in Parliament.
To further encourage water efficiency within households, PUB will introduce two new water conservation programmes, the minister said.
One of these will be the replacement of less water efficient nine-litre water closets with more efficient ones. "This can help them save up to 10 per cent in their monthly water bills," he said.
The agency will also be installing smart shower devices for 10,000 new homes as a demonstration project, Mr Masagos revealed. The smart shower device provides real-time information on water consumption during showers, and an earlier small-scale study found that a person could save up to five litres a day using these devices.
"If the positive effects are validated in the demo project, PUB may roll out the devices to more households," he said.
The minister noted that in 2016, households used 148 litres of water per capita per day, down "significantly" from a decade ago, but there is "still some way to go" to reach the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint target of 140 litres by 2030. "If each of us can save 10 litres of water per day, that is almost half a desalination plant."
"GOOD PROGRESS" ON WATER MASTER PLAN
Mr Masagos also gave an update on the Water Master Plan, a strategic blueprint for Singapore's water resource until 2060, saying there has been "good progress". The plan provides for the development of NEWater and desalination plants to meet up to 85 per cent of Singapore's water demand by 2060, as well as new pipelines for drinking water and used water.
He noted that the country's fifth NEWater plant, located at Changi, officially opened in January this year, and the third desalination plant in Tuas will be completed this year.
The fourth and fifth desalination plants in Marina East and Jurong Island are underway, he added, while phase two of the Deep Tunnel Sewerage System - which includes the water reclamation plant and NEWater factory at Tuas - is on track for completion by 2025.
"All these have now become critical so that we have a resilient water supply when the weather does not favour us," he said.
The minister's updates came after Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced in his Budget speech last month that water prices will increase by 30 per cent in two phases over the next two years, starting from Jul 1 this year. This is the first time in almost 20 years that the Government is revising water prices.