First of PUB's smart shower devices to be installed in upcoming West Rock@Bukit Batok estate

Smart shower devices on display at Hong Kah North Community Club on March 17, 2018. They will be installed at West Rock@Bukit Batok homes under the Smart Shower Programme.
Smart shower devices on display at Hong Kah North Community Club on March 17, 2018. They will be installed at West Rock@Bukit Batok homes under the Smart Shower Programme. ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID
Smart shower devices on display at Hong Kah North Community Club on March 17, 2018. They will be installed at West Rock@Bukit Batok homes under the Smart Shower Programme.
Smart shower devices on display at Hong Kah North Community Club on March 17, 2018. They will be installed at West Rock@Bukit Batok homes under the Smart Shower Programme. ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID

SINGAPORE - When the West Rock @ Bukit Batok estate is completed later this year, 300 of the units will be fitted with smart shower devices that will help residents keep tabs on how much water they use.

The devices are the first of the 10,000 that national water agency PUB plans to install in 10,000 new Build-to-Order homes by the end of 2019.

These devices will give residents real-time information on how much water they use during their showers, and will also allow them to set water conservation goals and monitor their usage history via an app.

The showerheads in the West Rock units are by Amphiro, and come with a panel that displays how much water is being used.

Showerheads from another company, Smart and Blue (Hydrao), will be installed in later developments. These devices have different colour codes to indicate water consumption levels.

The devices from both firms retail for about $150 each in the market, but PUB paid less due to bulk orders.PUB said these showerheads will not come at additional cost to home owners.

After West Rock @ Bukit Batok, the showerheads will be progressively installed in new developments such as Meadow Spring, Toa Payoh Apex and Buangkok Park Vista.

Families who have opted for sanitary fittings under the Housing Board's Optional Component Scheme will get the device.

Ms Caroline Huang, 26, will move into West Rock @ Bukit Batok with her husband and two young daughters in the second half of this year. Right now, her monthly water bill is around $30 to $40, and she hopes to save $10 to $20 with the smart shower device.

"I think it's a very creative solution because it shows me how much I'm using, something I normally have no idea about," said the housewife.

She admits that seeing the water consumption display will add pressure to her showering routine, but she thinks this is positive pressure.

Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources, Dr Amy Khor, said that based on a PUB study, showering consumes the highest volume of water in a Singapore household.

Dr Khor said these smart shower devices give residents real-time information and makes them more aware of their water usage when they are showering. "Hopefully, because of this information available, it helps them to change their behaviour."

The Government wants Singapore's daily household water consumption per person to be 140 litres by 2030. The consumption fell from 148 litres in 2016 to 143 litres last year, meaning the target of 147 litres by 2020 has already been achieved.

During the recent debate on his ministry's budget, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli said that water pricing is fundamental to managing its production and consumption.

"It must allow for long-term investments and reflect the scarcity value of water," he said.