Design: The Scientist 

You've probably heard by now that water tariffs will be going up for the first time since 2000. The increase will fund the higher costs of desalination and Newater production, as well as that of maintaining Singapore’s current water infrastructure.

Demand is expected to double by 2060, and every additional drop of water will have to come from more expensive water sources. The hike will be carried out in two phases: in July 1 this year, and July 1 next year. The total increase, including taxes, will be about 30 per cent.

To avoid unnecessary fluctuations in your utilities bill, here are some tips on saving water at home:

1. Showers

Did you know that taking a shower helps to save 20 per cent more water, as compared to taking a bath? Showering also uses less energy and takes less time.

2. Leaks

Beware of hidden leaks in your home, as they can cause your water bill to increase by up to 10 per cent each month. That's your hard-earned money down the drain! Check for dripping faucets or leaky valves regularly. They are often easy to fix and can be corrected quickly.

3. Utility bills

So you may not be an eco-warrior, but you still want to save money. PUB has a water savings kit that will help cut down your utility bills by as much as 5 per cent. It's absolutely free — get it here.

4. Washing machine

On average, about 19 per cent of our total household water use in Singapore is from laundry. To cut down on consumption, always accumulate a full load of laundry before washing. Washing just one or two pieces, or even a half-load, is wasteful and inefficient.

5. Flushing

Save up to 3 litres of water a day, when you install a dual flush system in your toilet. You can then choose between using a full, regular flush and a light, half flush, accordingly. Not only do you conserve more water, a dual flush kit will often pay for itself within the first few months of use.

6. Taps

An easy way to quickly and chealply save water is to remember to TOTT (turn off the tap). Just doing this simple gesture in the morning and evening, when you brush your teeth, can save up to 30 litres of water a day. That's the equivalent of 15 large soft drink bottles!

7. Washing up

TOTT (turn off the tap) applies in the kitchen as well. Don't keep the tap running while you wash your dishes. It's not only unnecessary and wasteful, it doesn't make your dishes any cleaner than they otherwise would be. Also, it's better to defrost meat or wash veggies by soaking, instead of using running water.

8. Car washing

Next time you hand-wash your clothes or have leftover water from rinsing a batch of rice, save it and use to wash your car during the weekend, or even water your plants regularly.

9. Steaming veggies

Apart from using less water than boiling, steaming retains more nutrients. If you do boil, try adding the water used as a tasty stock to soups. Or let it cool and use it to water house or garden plants.

10. Buying water-efficient goods

Invest in water-efficient goods when you need to replace household products. You can now buy water-efficient showerheads, taps, toilets, washing machines, dishwashers and many other water-saving products.


Adapted from The Singapore Women's Weekly.