Postpone repainting of buildings to save water

The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) requires buildings to be repainted every five years, though owners may write in for an extension if they feel that their buildings do not need a fresh coat of paint yet.

However, before buildings can be repainted, their exteriors need a thorough washing, which use a huge amount of water.

Multiply that by the thousands of buildings, and we can envisage the huge quantum of water that literally goes down the drain.

We are currently in a dry spell. The Johor river, from which Singapore draws a sizeable quantity of raw water every day, is at a record low. Our Newater and desalination plants can produce more water, but at a high cost. Even Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is exhorting us to use less water ("Johor reservoir's water level at historic low"; Aug 4).

With a view to conserving water, perhaps the BCA should allow buildings that are now due for repainting to defer such works till, say, the end of next year, without needing to write in for an extension.

This will produce immediate results as the time-consuming process of writing in and the subsequent checks by the BCA is eliminated.

Allen Chang