SINGAPORE - Water-efficient equipment such as commercial dishwashers will soon carry a green label, in an effort to help businesses such as hotels and restaurants, conserve water. This is the latest move in Singapore's push to ensure that taps here do not run dry for future generations.
Speaking at the GoBlue4SG night carnival in Marina Barrage on Friday (March 22) to mark World Water Day, Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli reiterated the need for households and industries to committo using less water. He said: "Water demand here is projected to double by 2060, and that is also around the time when our water agreement with Malaysia ends," he added. The water agreement will expire in 2061.
On Friday, a record 30 landmarks and buildings, including the National Gallery Singapore and Gardens by the Bay, were lit up in blue to support water conservation. Part of Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park was also enveloped in blue - the first time a park is participating in the light-up since it was introduced in 2014. The Singapore chancery in New York, which houses the Permanent Mission of Singapore to the United Nations, has also been lit up in blue since March 18.
A record 35 pre-schools across the island also held water rationing exercises on Friday. Taps were turned off for a few hours, and pupils used water collected in pails and jerry cans to wash their hands and brush their teeth. In all, 116 schools, from preschools to junior colleges, carried out the exercise this month.
Singapore's goal is to reduce daily water consumption to 130 litres per person by 2030.
Showering is the top water guzzler in homes, making up about one-third of total usage.
But steps have been taken to reduce it. In 2015, a trial done in 500 homes fitted with smart shower devices found that daily, each person could save five litres of water.
Last year, the PUB installed such smart shower systems, which offer real-time information on water usage, in about 10,000 new Build-To-Order flats.
"We hope to empower more households with such devices to change their showering habits to save water," said Mr Masagos on Friday when he spoke about the extension of the green label scheme to commercial equipment, such as commercial dishwashers, washer extractors and high pressure jet machines.
This voluntary scheme, which will take into account water and energy efficiency, is being developed by national water agency PUB with the Singapore Environment Council. Sellers can get their eligible machines certified with the label from April or May this year.
"It will enable non-domestic customers such as hotels, F&B outlets and town councils, to make informed purchasing choices on the water efficiency of the equipment used in their business operations," said Mr Masagos.