Centre's water features run contrary to making every drop count

The new-generation neighbourhood centre Oasis Terraces at Punggol Waterway.
The new-generation neighbourhood centre Oasis Terraces at Punggol Waterway.PHOTO: ST FILE

It is reassuring that the message of conserving water is being taken to schools, as good habits need to be inculcated at as young an age as possible (Clementi pupils learn what it's like if taps run dry, March 14).

At the same time, however, there are some new buildings, such as the newly opened Oasis Terrace Neighbourhood Centre in Punggol, which incorporate water features such as jumping jets, water wheels and rhythmic water geysers.

While these do beautify the building and entertain visitors, they ironically also encourage children to play with water.

I have seen many children clad in swimwear ready to enjoy a complete soak playing among the water geysers.

Surely this runs counter to national water agency PUB's campaign to encourage everyone to take personal responsibility to "make every drop count"?

Oasis Terrace is architecturally a masterpiece, as it is both aesthetically pleasing and incorporates water-saving features, such as a system to collect and treat rainwater, which will be automatically used to water plants in the centre.

Hence, instead of the jumping jets and water geysers, which do not encourage careful use of water, perhaps special tours of the environmentally friendly features can be conducted, or a miniature hands-on model to show how a rain garden works can be displayed in the plaza.

The message must be consistent in every corner of Singapore.

The lessons learnt in the water-rationing exercises carried out in schools could so easily be undone when the children encounter water-wasting features once out of the school compound.

Agnes Sng Hwee Lee (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 18, 2019, with the headline 'Centre's water features run contrary to making every drop count'. Print Edition | Subscribe