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Selected homes to get water-saving flushing systems

SINGAPORE — National water agency PUB will be helping lower-income families to save water, by replacing the 9L water closets of about 6,000 households with water-efficient 4L ones for free.

PUB plans to replace the 9-litre water closets of households living in flats built between 1986 and 1992 with water-efficient 4-litre ones for free. TODAY file photo

PUB plans to replace the 9-litre water closets of households living in flats built between 1986 and 1992 with water-efficient 4-litre ones for free. TODAY file photo

SINGAPORE — National water agency PUB will be helping lower-income families to save water, by replacing the 9L water closets of about 6,000 households with water-efficient 4L ones for free. 

These families would be those living in public housing blocks built between 1986 and 1992, which have yet to undergo the Home Improvement Programme, which includes the replacement of their water closets. 

Newer public flats already come with more water-efficient flushing systems.

PUB said that this group of households would “immediately” save 5L of water per full flush, and could potentially save 10 per cent in their monthly water bill. 

More details on the replacement project will be made public in due course.

Announcing this plan in Parliament on Wednesday (March 8), Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli also revealed the progress made in cutting domestic water consumption.

Last year, households used 148L of water per capita per day. This figure is lower than the previous reported level of about 151L and just shy of Singapore’s target of 147L by 2020, although still a stretch from the 2030 target of 140L.

Water prices are scheduled to go up by 30 per cent over two rounds on July 1 this year and next year, with help being provided to most households. 

On Wednesday, Mr Masagos highlighted measures other than “right-pricing” to promote water conservation, and said that he was inspired by people who have gone the extra mile to save water.

Over the next few years, PUB will be fitting smart shower devices in 10,000 new homes under a demonstration project. 

This is based on an earlier study it conducted with the National University of Singapore, which found people using less water in the shower when they had devices that provided them with real-time water-usage information. 

From October next year, dishwashing machines will also come under the Mandatory Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme. 

And from April 2019, all new and existing premises that are undergoing renovation works must have water fittings classified as having at least two-tick efficiency.

For the non-domestic sector, which consumes most of the water in Singapore, heavy users (those consuming at least 60,000 cubic metres of water a year) will need to send representatives to attend a three-day water-efficiency manager course from 2019.

According to Mr Masagos: “Many of us are familiar with the Singapore Water Story. Perhaps there is a risk of over-familiarity, a certain jadedness from one too many social studies lessons ... 

“The Water Story is a living story, and continues to be written by all Singaporeans today, whether in producing it, or in conserving it.” 

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