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Many households still not adopting good water practices for toilet washing, food preparation: PUB

SINGAPORE — Even as average household water consumption has declined in the past three years, a significant number of Singaporeans still use too much water for daily activities such as food preparation and toilet washing, PUB said.

Many households still not adopting good water practices for toilet washing, food preparation: PUB

The PUB study found 66 per cent of households use running water to wash toilets instead of a pail or container of water.

SINGAPORE — Even as average household water consumption has declined in the past three years, a significant number of Singaporeans still use too much water for daily activities such as food preparation and toilet washing, PUB said.

Releasing the findings on Monday (March 9) of its latest household water consumption study, the national water agency also said that water usage among households with foreign domestic workers is 20 per cent higher than households without such helpers, which could be due to the higher frequency of daily chores such as washing and cooking. 

The study surveyed 400 households from 2018 to 2019. 

PUB found that:

  • 66 per cent of households use running water to wash toilets instead of a bucket or pail

  • 41.5 per cent use the same method for pet care

  • 50 per cent wash food under running taps and wash their laundry in the washing machine when it is not fully loaded

  • 94 per cent wash their dishes under running taps instead of using a basin

The study also showed how households with domestic workers use more water:

  • They wash 3.5 full loads of laundry a week compared with 2.8 loads in households without domestic workers

  • They wash toilets and mop floors 10 times every five days, twice the number of times of those without 

  • They prepare two meals a person a day, versus 1.3 meals a person a day in households without

Mr Ridzuan Ismail, the director of PUB’s water supply network, said: “There is potential for households to use water more efficiently when doing their daily chores, simply by not letting water run needlessly from the tap or the hose.

“We are also exploring new ways to educate foreign domestic helpers to be more conscious about water use through engagement and training programmes, as they are the ones carrying out household chores.”

Shower, toilet flush, kitchen and laundry remained the largest water-consuming areas in households, constituting 77 per cent of total water usage among households here, the study found. 

Still, PUB said that its efforts to drive water conservation awareness and outreach to the community have been encouraging. 

Average household water consumption has declined, from 148 litres a person a day in 2016 to 141 litres a person a day in 2019. 

The target now is for average household water consumption to hit 130 litres by 2030.

PUB has created a new TV commercial, titled We Have Come a Long Way, for this year’s water conservation campaign, which is centred around Singapore’s issues with water over the past decades. Scenes in the commercial illustrate the challenges that Singapore faced in the early years of nationhood against a stark contrast of the modern conveniences we enjoy today. 

The #GoBlue4SG movement will also return with 38 retailers and businesses offering deals and promotions in March to support the water-saving cause.

The movement will conclude with the City Turns Blue event on March 22 to coincide with World Water Day. On that day, more than 36 buildings along the Marina Bay city skyline and across the island will light up in blue to symbolise their commitment to water conservation, PUB said. 

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PUB water household foreign domestic worker

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