Friday, 15 May 2015

World Water Day: 5 Ways to Save Water in Singapore

Following the passing of our founding father Mr Lee Kuan Yew, I'm sure many of you have read the many articles surrounding how the vision of LKY helped in our water security today, and how we call him "the architect of Singapore's water story". You can read this one if you are absolutely clueless.

Many of us take water for granted, especially the younger ones in school today who have not experienced days when we practised water rationing. I remember when I was in school (it wasn't really THAT long ago - come on, Singapore's barely 50!), there were days when my grandmother would have to keep pails of water a couple of days in advance leading up to the water rationing exercises. There were 8 of us living in the same house, so imagine how many pails of water we had to keep for our showering, cooking and drinking usage for a day. 

On the actual day of the water rationing exercise, there would be a water distribution point in the open carpark of our HDB estate, and for those who were not prepared or who need more water, they would go downstairs with their pails and queue up for water.

Yup, those were the days. 

Hence I grew up to be a bit more aware about not wasting water, even though I didn't really understand why. Grandparents, uncles and aunts would always tell me not to waste water, so that was ingrained in me as a subconscious habit. Because I drank a LOT of water as a kid, I even worried if the water I was drinking was too much! Maybe that's why I stopped drinking so much water as an adult now haha! (Seriously, if Singapore uses 400 million gallons of water a day, and I believe many of us are not drinking our recommended amounts of water per day, I wonder how much more water Singapore would be consuming if we did. Just a thought.)

It's been a couple of decades since then, and we don't practise water rationing anymore. To help educate the public, particularly our young and the new citizens of Singapore, I decided to be a part of World Water Day Singapore this year. 
At the PUB social media booth.
My role was to get people to "Like" the PUB's facebook page. Seems like just a way to garner likes right? WRONG! Because their page shares interesting tips on water conservation, whenever they have an update, you'll see it on your FB newsfeed, which in turn reminds you about water conservation, or updates you about the activities they have planned so you can bring you family and loved ones along to! P.S. They've even launched an iOS game app recently called "Save My Water", so kids can learn while having fun! You can download it here.

Some of the faces at World Water Day Singapore!

Since we are on the topic of water conservation, here are 10 tips on how you can save water in our little island, Kampung Style. ^.^

1. Use a pail to shower at least once a week. 
Try it. It was how I used to shower growing up. I had the rare opportunity of getting to stay in a kampung, and we had these huge metal pails which collected water which was dripping from our leaky tap. It can be cold yes, but one way to fight the cold water is to jump up and down in the shower upon first few contacts with the cold water. After a while, your body will get used to the cold, and trust me, it feels really good to have a cold shower!

If you didn't already know, cold water is great for your hair as it seals the hair cuticles, giving it a glossier sheen when it's dry! Cold water is also good for your skin! =D More reason to shower with cold water! Tip: If you can't take the cold cold water, try cooking a kettle of water to add to your pail of cold water. It was how I bathed. TRY!!!!

2. Collect Rainwater!
If you are lucky enough to have a porch/backyard/unsheltered balcony (not too sure though if this is considered "lucky" lol), place a pail out to collet rainwater for your indoor plants. 

Try not to do this though, as we don't want to risk getting stomped, or more importantly, risk dropping the pails on someone's head as they walk past below...

3. Make washing your vehicle an activity!
With a couple of pails and a 20¢ coin (in HDB multistorey carparks' car wash bays), you can wash your car with the family/loved one/by yourself, and get a good workout too! 
Get the girlfriend to wear a white T-shirt if it makes a good incentive. If you are washing in your own backyard, you guys can even wear swimsuits. Note: gf in bikini. Heh.
You may end up with a harder workout during or after the wash. (No pun intended of course. And erm, please make sure the coast is clear if you are intending on a sexy workout.)

Remember to bring her a towel to cover up so that she can walk back to the house without being visually harrassed. 

4. Practise water rationing at home with your young ones a few times a year.
This one is going to be pretty fun. Tell everyone in your household that they are not allowed to use the tap for the day, and that you guys only have this many pails of water to use. Take this as an opportunity to educate your young on the importance of water, and you'll be amazed at how the little ones can become bossier about water usage that day! =D

5. Repair Leaks ASAP
This doesn't take a genius to understand why we should do this. Even if you use a pail to collect water from the leaked taps, the pail will be full before you get home. And what about WCs that just won't stop flushing? That wastes A LOT of water! 

One minute of leaving the tap on can waste you 9 litres, so imagine a never-ending flushing toilet bowl! 

Here's a video narrated by Mr Lee Kuan Yew himself on how important clean water is to Singapore. =) 

I also did a post on ways to save water last year. Do have a read too!
Let's all do our part to save water, shall we?

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