It’s a hot topic that’s been in the news lately. Singapore’s latest Budget has everyone all aflutter with the news that water prices will increase for the first time in 17 years. According to Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, prices will surge up to 30 per cent in two phases, starting July 1 this year.
Or is there? While you can’t change the price of water, you can certainly change how much water you use. Not only will you save money, you’ll get to feel good about saving the environment – after all, collecting, transporting and purifying water all take resources and energy. Here are our top tips:
Rethink your bath
Good: Shower, don’t bathe. A full bathtub uses about 280 litres of water, compared to about 40-100 litres for a 5-minute shower. Or take shorter showers. Don’t forget to turn off the shower while you apply soap or shampoo.
Best: Shower with a friend. (This is also the most fun.)
Change your toilet habits
Good: Install a low-flow toilet flush. This can save up to 10 litres PER FLUSH. Depending on your household, the savings could really add up.
Better: Install a combination washbasin/toilet, which lets you use the waste water after washing your hands to fill the toilet tank.
Best: If it’s yellow, let it mellow.
Hunt leaks down
Good: Look under your sinks and behind your toilets for mould, damp patches or puddles to find and eliminate leaks.
Better: Use your water meter to check for hidden leaks. Read the water meter before and after a certain period when no water is being used. If the numbers don’t match, you either have a leak or a water thief.
Best: Play water detective. Put some food colouring in your toilet tank. Don’t flush for 30 minutes. If colour appears in the toilet bowl – congratulations, you’ve found a leak.
Good: Reuse your grey water. Save your water from say, rinsing your dishes or washing your vegetables, to water your house plants.
Better: Install a drip irrigation system. Hand watering with a hose or using sprinklers can waste so much water. Drip irrigation means your plants are watered exactly when and where they need it.
Best: Grow cacti only.
Be efficient in the kitchen
Good: Wash your dishes in a filled sink or tub, instead of letting the tap run. This can save about 30 litres on average.
Better: Get a dishwasher. If you only run the dishwasher when it’s completely full, it is more water efficient than hand washing.
Best: Specialise in cooking one-pot meals that require little clean up.
Good: Wash your car using a bucket, instead of a hose.
Better: Park outdoors and let the rain wash your car.
Best: Wash your car in the rain – not only will your car get cleaner, you will, too. Win!
Wash with less
Good: Choose a washing machine that is rated highly-efficient under the PUB’s Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme. Only run the washing machine when it’s full.
Better: Reuse and recycle the grey water from your washing machine. It can be used to mop the floor, flush your toilet and more.
Best: Dry clean your clothes/wear each outfit twice before washing.