PUB campaign highlights impact of climate change on Singapore's coastlines, water supply

SINGAPORE - A future where Singapore's reservoirs have no more water after a prolonged dry spell and where rising sea levels threaten the low-lying coastline may become a reality if nothing is done to fight climate change.

These are scenes from a new PUB television commercial, aired on Monday (March 8) as part of the national water agency's campaign titled "The Climate Is Changing" launched this month to raise awareness of climate change.

The commercial "blurs the line between reality and a hypothetical future", and it depicts scenarios such as how an extreme and unpredictable climate could cause intense rainfall, resulting in frequent flooding, said the PUB.

The commercial also highlights the PUB's work in reducing Singapore's carbon footprint through the use of clean energy, such as through the construction of floating solar farms on reservoirs to power water treatment.

The agency's other key areas of focus include enhancing flood resilience, strengthening coastal defences and safeguarding water security.

Said Ms Cindy Keng, director of the 3P Network Department at the PUB: "With the Government launching its Singapore Green Plan 2030, we felt it was also the right time to showcase PUB's efforts in adapting to climate change, which has a serious impact on our water resources."

She added that PUB must demonstrate its ability to ensure Singapore has a sustainable water supply to protect Singaporeans from rising sea levels and flooding, as well as to chart a greener future by harnessing solar energy.

While previous campaigns have resulted in high public awareness on water conservation, more can be done to "nudge users to adopt water saving habits", said the PUB.

In a 2020 study commissioned by the PUB among 602 households in Jurong West and Tampines, 60 per cent of those surveyed were aware that Singapore remains one of the most water-stressed countries in the world, and that treating water requires a tedious and expensive process.

More than 90 per cent recognised the need for water conservation, with over 75 per cent agreeing to take personal responsibility in using water wisely.

However, the respondents were also aware that they could do more.

For instance, over 60 per cent would turn off the tap when brushing their teeth, or turn off the shower when soaping. But only just over a third of the households would regularly rinse their vegetables or fruits in a container instead of under running water, and just 35 per cent had the habit of regularly using a half-flush when possible.

To encourage people to pick up water-saving habits and to use water wisely, the PUB's annual community movement, known as #GoBlue4SG will return this month to celebrate Singapore World Water Day.

More than 400 partners will support the cause.

At least 60 schools have pledged to hold "Water Wednesdays" by dedicating every Wednesday in March to holding water-themed activities for students, instead of the usual water rationing exercises.

Some 50 retailers and businesses will also offer blue-themed discounts and promotions in March.

For World Water Day on March 22, 43 prominent buildings and landmarks across the island, including the Singapore Flyer and the newly opened Keppel Marina East Desalination Plant, will be lit up in blue at night for the signature "City Turns Blue" event.

A blue heat map will show the community's efforts in promoting water conservation.

More details can be found on this website.

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