SINGAPORE - Singapore is planning to reduce the amount of water used by households even more by 2030, with a new target of 130 litres to be used by each person daily, or 10 litres less than the original goal.
This was announced by Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean, who was speaking at Marina Barrage's 10th Anniversary Finale Celebration yesterday.
"We need to do more to ensure a sustainable and resilient water supply for the future. We need to be prepared for potential threats to our water supply, like extreme weather conditions, or major oil or other pollutant spills that can affect our desalination plants."
While happy that Singaporeans have been playing their part in conserving water, Mr Teo said that people can be even more ambitious.
Stressing how water is critical for the future, he highlighted a study of 167 countries by World Resources Institute in 2015, which found that the Republic was the country most likely to be water-stressed in 2040.
"This is why water security has always been a national priority," he said. "We have spared no effort to treat every drop of water as precious. To turn as many drops of water into drinkable water as we can."
Households here have been using less water following stronger water conservation efforts and recent water price hikes.
Last year, each person here used 143 litres daily, just shy of the 140 litre target initially set for 2030 under the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint. And national water agency PUB has plans to help Singaporeans meet the 130 litre challenge.
Smart water meters which allow households to access real-time water usage, for one, will help them keep an eye on how much water is going down the drain.
Likewise, under the Smart Shower Programme, 10,000 new Housing Board flats are being fitted with smart shower devices which allow for real-time reading.
The Government is also investing in technology and infrastructure to boost water security, including building more desalination and Newater plants, pipelines and pumping stations, and water reclamation plants.
Some of the participants at the event, including Mr Kamarudin Noordin, who was there with his family, believe that the target set by Mr Teo is realistic and achievable. It just requires a change of mindset, the 62-year-old who is in the cleaning management service told The Sunday Times. "At home, I use a pail so that my grandchildren do not leave the shower on.
"It's like in the old kampung days when you scoop water from a well. You use only what you need. And we didn't use much."
The atmosphere at the 10th anniversary celebrations was like a mini carnival, but the important message of caring for the environment and conserving water was evident.
Aside from food stalls and works of art, there were several upcycling workshops. Visitors got a hands-on experience, learning how to turn plastic bottles into flower pots or use discarded plastic bags to create colourful artistic scenes through weaving, for example.
At one upcycling workshop, Ms Grace Ong, a volunteer from Terra SG, an environmental action-oriented social enterprise, showed visitors how to shape plastic bags into small flowers. The 24-year-old told The Sunday Times: "I want to educate the young and tell them that plastic bags are not only for single use. They can be used to create anything your mind imagines."