Raising water price to go green may backfire

The price of water has recently gone up and the reactions from citizens have ranged from anger to resignation.

There is no substitute for water.

When people have no other means of washing themselves, cooking and staying hydrated, then it means little if the price has increased.

People will simply pay more for water than they did before, while using only a little less than they did prior to the hike.

The problem is that there is now the risk that the Government is perceived as being money-minded and not serving the citizens.

This animosity may lead to a distrust of elected officials, which is not beneficial to Singapore.

Hence, this price hike in an attempt to go green may be equal to throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Rather than increase the price of water, I have two alternatives to propose.

The first is to increase supply, perhaps by investing in another Newater plant, among other methods.

This will give our citizens better water security.

The second is to continue educating Singaporeans on proper and efficient water usage, instead of using a forced method such as increasing the price on such an essentiality of life.

Sean Chan Yong Kit

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 08, 2017, with the headline 'Raising water price to go green may backfire'. Print Edition | Subscribe