Making their mark in water conservation

Three companies, two schools receive awards for initiatives to use water efficiently

Singapore's highest award for water conservation has been given to three companies and two schools.

The Watermark Award was handed to Singapore Refining Company Private Limited, United Microelectronics Corporation (Singapore branch), Carlton City Hotel Singapore, Qifa Primary School and Chung Cheng High School (Main).

The winners received the award from Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli in a ceremony at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park yesterday.

The annual award, first introduced by national water agency PUB in 2007, recognises efforts in raising awareness of water conservation and introducing initiatives to use water efficiently

Carlton City Hotel Singapore in Tanjong Pagar places message cards in its 386 rooms to encourage guests to reuse their linen and towels, hence saving the amount of water used in the laundry.

Other initiatives include reusing condensation from air handling units for cooling towers and using a remote monitoring system to detect possible water wastage.

Qifa Primary School principal May Tan and Carlton City Hotel Singapore executive assistant manager Augustine Cheong with the awards they collected on behalf of their school and company, respectively.
Qifa Primary School principal May Tan (above) and Carlton City Hotel Singapore executive assistant manager Augustine Cheong with the awards they collected on behalf of their school and company, respectively. ST PHOTOS: KHALID BABA

The hotel saw a drop of about 4,233 cu m in water consumption between 2014 and 2016. That is equivalent to more than 11/2 Olympic-size swimming pools .

The hotel's executive assistant manager Augustine Cheong said most of the guests are supportive of water conservation.

"They place the card on their beds to tell our staff not to change the linen and towels. But on our part, we still change them every two days for hygiene purposes."

Over at Qifa Primary School in West Coast, its 1,300 students were given handmade bookmarks bearing water conservation messages so that they could share them with families and neighbours.

Last year, its Primary 5 pupils took part in a "Water is Precious" project. They tracked their household water bills for three months, and shared the importance of saving water with their families.

"A lot of parents don't check the bills, and when you don't keep track, you won't know how much water you're using," said school principal May Tan

Qifa Primary School principal May Tan and Carlton City Hotel Singapore executive assistant manager Augustine Cheong with the awards they collected on behalf of their school and company, respectively.
Qifa Primary School principal May Tan and Carlton City Hotel Singapore executive assistant manager Augustine Cheong (above) with the awards they collected on behalf of their school and company, respectively. ST PHOTOS: KHALID BABA

PUB chief executive Ng Joo Hee said: "As we celebrate the achievements of the winning organisations, we hope that they will inspire other organisations to explore further ways to bring about greater water efficiency and water savings in their operations."

PUB will launch more best practice guides later this year, including guides for the wafer fabrication and semiconductor sector, and the refineries, petrochemicals and chemicals sector.

"We believe the best practices guides will serve as useful resources for industries to strive for higher water efficiency," said Mr Ng.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 29, 2018, with the headline 'Making their mark in water conservation'. Print Edition | Subscribe