WATER, A SCARCE RESOURCE IN A CONTEXT OF STRONG ECONOMIC GROWTH
Despite being situated near the equator, which results in high levels of rainfall, Singapore does not have sufficient natural water resources. Without natural storage and groundwater, the available resources are not sufficient to meet the needs of the ever-growing population. Since independence, the archipelago has continued to develop economically and, therefore, to attract new inhabitants. Thus, water consumption has multiplied 5 fold* since 1965. With Singapore's 5.4 million inhabitants and one of the world’s highest population densities, water management has become a national priority.
In this context, the PUB aims to reduce the import of Malaysian water, always the main "tap" of Singapore, and has introduced advanced processes to supply the archipelago with drinking water: reprocessing of wastewater, rainwater collection and seawater desalination. These practices shows that they are really innovative, but those practices are also very costly and can’t be the only solution for Singapore.
ENCOURAGING REDUCTION IN CONSUMPTION
With an increasing population, rapid urbanization and flourishing industrial growth, the pressure is mounting on this already limited resource. So the PUB has decided to change behaviour and usage patterns of this precious resource. Following the installation of 532 smart water meters in the Punggol district in the East of the archipelago, the consumption data for households taking part in the study could be collected, analysed and processed, in to be gathered together ina mobile application: WaterGoWhere. Thanks to improved knowledge of water usage and users habits, the application aims to encourage reduction in consumption. By means of challenges and quizzes, residents become aware of their daily water usage and develop water saving patterns and habits... and win vouchers from business partners! Residents can also receive alerts about leakage and high consumption. Thus, they can compare their consumption for the last 7 days and discover their highest consuming water usages (showering, cooking, cleaning etc.) and reduce these by changing their habits. WaterGoWhere also gives awards for the top "Water Savers" every month and encourages them to share their tips and ideas on the Facebook page which brings together all the participants.
The successful project which uses ONconnect™ remote reading technologypermits on-going data feedback. With 5% of water saved, thanks to leak alerts and a programme designed to change user habits, about 7 litres have been saved per person/per day. The PUB may consider extending WaterGoWhere to the whole archipelago... to be continued.