Start conserving water now

Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli has noted that Singaporeans may have to conserve water if the Linggiu Reservoir stock does not recover ("Water level in Linggiu Reservoir drops to record low: Masagos"; Nov 14).

At what level would the authorities deem water conservation necessary?

Urgent action is required now, given the alarmingly drastic drop in the reservoir's water level to a record low.

Singapore should never take for granted the provision of any natural resource or basic need from any other country, regardless of treaty.

For one thing, natural forces beyond our control - such as a prolonged drought - may make treaties meaningless.

We should not wait for water levels to drop further before doing our part to conserve water.

We should turn off taps that are not in use, reduce shower time, use less air-conditioning and refrain from excessive washing of cars and from using water features.

Otherwise, we should expect to see the return of severe water rationing when the water level in Linggiu drops further.

Water is an extremely precious resource. If a human has no water for three days, death is a likely outcome.

We should be very careful with what we still have and make plans for further mitigating efforts, such as desalination of sea water.

Adam Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 23, 2015, with the headline 'Start conserving water now'. Print Edition | Subscribe