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SINGAPORE’S EXPERIENCE IN WATER DEMAND MANAGEMENT

Congress: 2008
Author(s): Tay Teck Kiang
Deputy Director, Water Supply (Network) Department, PUB, Singapore (E-mail: tay_teck_kiang@pub.gov.sg, Tel: +65 67313406, Fax: +65 6731 3015 )

Keyword(s): water conservation, unaccounted-for water, public education
Article:
AbstractBACKGROUND While Singapore can add to its resources and multiply every drop to meet the increasing demand, we know that for sustainability of water supply, there is also the other part to curb water demand growth. In this regard, PUB has in place an efficient water demand management programme to curb water demand growth and stretch its limited water resources to the fullest. WATER DEMAND MANAGEMENT PUB, the national water authority in Singapore, has always adopted a 2-pronged approach in the management of the nation’s water supply for sustainability. While the PUB endeavours to develop water sources to meet the needs of the people, it also places great emphasis on the need to manage water demand. Though our water supply has been secured with the 4 Taps – Water from local catchments, imported water (Johor), NEWater and Desalinated Water, there is still a need to control the demand of water so as to stretch our supply sources and make them last. Again, a 2-pronged approach is also adopted to effectively manage our water demand – by way of implementation of water conservation measures to keep potable water consumption in check and the other through the efficient management of the transmission and distribution system from water source to the customer tap thus minimising the unaccounted-for water. WATER CONSERVATION PUB’s water conservation strategy in curbing water demand growth takes a multi-prong approach through pricing, mandatory water conservation requirements and promoting and encouraging ownership and voluntarism through 3P partnership in water conservation. Pricing Pricing of water is an important and effective mechanism in encouraging customers to conserve water. The water is priced not only to recover the full cost of its production and supply, but also to reflect the scarcity of this precious resource and the high cost of water from developing additional sources. Mandatory Requirements Legislative measures have been put in place to deter water wastage. Punitive measures for non- compliance include fines and/or court prosecution. The legislative measures are constantly being reviewed to keep abreast of the latest development in the area of water conservation. Ownership through 3P initiatives Public Education and Publicity Programme The Board has an on-going public education and publicity programme to educate the public in the management of our water resources, emphasizing on the importance of water conservation. The main objective of the programme is to effect behavioral change in the way water is being used so that saving water becomes an ingrained habit. The various activities are targeted at both the domestic and non-domestic sectors. Some of the major activities carried out were: • Save Water Campaigns and Sustained Publicity Programmes • Educating Our Young • 3P Partnership Involvement • Water Efficient Homes Programme • 10-Litre Challenge • Water Volunteer Groups • Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme • Mandatory Installation of Dual Flush Low Capacity Flushing Cisterns • Water Efficient Buildings Programme • Water Recycling and Substitution • Water Efficiency Fund • Water Audit MEASURES IMPLEMENTED TO REDUCE UNACCOUNTED-FOR WATER Unaccounted-for water (UFW) is the difference between the amount of water supplied from the waterworks as measured through its meters and the total amount of water accounted for. In the early 1980's, Singapore’s UFW was about 10% of total output. This high percentage of UFW was viewed with concern and PUB thus intensified its efforts to reduce its UFW by implementing various measures broadly categorized as: (i) network management; (ii) leakage control; (ii) metering policy; and (iv) legislation on illegal draw-offs RESULTS AND CONCLUSION Singapore has put in place a comprehensive water demand management programme to ensure UFW is kept to a minimum at about 5% and efficient use of water by both the domestic and non-domestic customers. The water conservation message has been successfully driven home through the various water conservation, resulted in a reduction of per capita domestic water consumption from 172 litre/day in 1995 to 158 litres/day in 2006. Industries are encouraged to substitute potable water with NEWater and run Water Efficient Buildings. These water conservation measures coupled with comprehensive UFW control programmes and keeping abreast with the latest technology will increase the efficiency of water use and help to achieve water sustainability.
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