PUB campaign to raise awareness of climate change

New TV ad shows how S'pore could be hit, highlights work in reducing carbon footprint

National water agency PUB's campaign highlights the impact of climate change on Singapore's water supply and coastlines. Previous campaigns have resulted in high public awareness of water conservation, but more can be done to nudge users to adopt wat
National water agency PUB's campaign highlights the impact of climate change on Singapore's water supply and coastlines. Previous campaigns have resulted in high public awareness of water conservation, but more can be done to nudge users to adopt water-saving habits, says the agency.PHOTO: PUB

A future where Singapore's reservoirs have no more water after a prolonged dry spell, and 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 that began airing yesterday. It is 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 depicts scenarios such as how an extreme and unpredictable climate could cause intense rainfall, resulting in frequent flooding, said PUB.

The commercial also highlights PUB's work in reducing Singapore's carbon footprint through the use of clean energy, such as by building 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 Mrs Cindy Keng, director of the 3P Network Department at 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 that Singapore has a sustainable water supply, protect Singaporeans from rising sea levels and flooding, and chart a greener future by harnessing solar energy.

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

In a study last year - commissioned by PUB - of 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.

But the respondents were also aware that they could do more.

For instance, more than 60 per cent would turn off the tap when brushing their teeth, or the shower when soaping.

But only just over a third of the households would regularly rinse vegetables or fruits in a container instead of under running water, and only 35 per cent regularly used a half-flush when possible.

To encourage people to pick up water-saving habits and use water wisely, PUB's annual community movement, #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 this month to holding water-themed activities for students.

And about 50 retailers and businesses will offer blue-themed discounts and promotions this month.

For World Water Day on March 22, 43 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 for the City Turns Blue event.

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

More details can be found on www.makeeverydropcount.gov.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 09, 2021, with the headline 'PUB campaign to raise awareness of climate change'. Subscribe