Ensure efforts to save water don't hurt the poor

Professor Asit K. Biswas and Dr Cecilia Tortajada suggested that pricing disincentives are known worldwide to reduce water consumption ("Pricing complements education in water conservation"; July 2).  

If Singapore were to follow this worldwide trend, the disincentives must be hefty enough to impact Singaporeans' wallets.  

Price disincentives must not impact the poor and frugal consumers. Increasing the water conservation tax would be more acceptable than increasing the basic tariff, because this would not punish consumers with low consumption.

By all means, ramp up the water conservation tax exponentially for users with the highest consumption. Let consumers exercise their right on whether they wish to continue to waste water.

The additional revenue collected from the higher conservation tax can be used to subsidise and incentivise those who conserve water. The additional revenue could also be used to fund education programmes on water conservation.  

 

Ong Yoke Fei