Water is Precious

I do not understand why Singaporeans do not have the concept that water is precious. I mean, why is it that we only start to appreciate this whenever there’s a price hike in water, or when Malaysia starts to threaten to cut off water supply to us, or when there’s a prolong dry spell here in Singapore like last year when even the flowers on the streets bloomed like never before?  Don’t people understand that inherently, WATER IS PRECIOUS!?

I think PUB or whatever agency in charge of public education on water conservation has been doing a very bad job. Just because we Singapore gets portable water everywhere and anywhere whenever we turn on our taps, that does not mean that water comes cheap.  Ok, perhaps, it is really so cheap that we don’t feel the pinch unless there’s an impending price hike.  And after the new rates kicks in, life is back to normal again  until the next price hike.

Where do you think our water comes from?  Where do you think all the water that we use massively everyday comes from?  You know that our catchment area becomes smaller and smaller as we build more and more buildings and roads.  You know that even though we are an island surrounded by seas but they say desalination is still so expensive.  You know that we are drinking our loo water as in NEWater, yet that is something we need to do because we just don’t have enough.  And of course you know that some day the pipe that connects Malaysia to Singapore will very soon be cut.

But why are we still not taking this seriously!?

I think we are all too comfortable.  We get portable water everywhere; we’ve never have to worry that the water from the taps is not clean; we’ve never seen yellow waters flowing out from our taps; we’ve never have to wash our laundry in rivers, or had an outbreak of some contagious water-borne diseases.  We don’t even have to ration our household water even when there’s prolong dry spells.  At most, you’ll see the shopping malls close their water play areas, or PUB telling you to water your plants in the evenings rather than during the hot afternoons.  (Btw, when’s the last time Singapore had to ration water?  In my 36 years, I can only recall one time when I was really very very little that there’s water rationing and we had to carry buckets of water from the water truck home for our bath).

Our leaders are very concerned, but what about the commoners?  True, I see some schools advocating Save Water Campaign and Water Rationing Exercises, but once the students are released home, how many of them actually get their families to rally together, and how many of them actually sees the importance that water is precious?

Come on Singapore, please don’t take water as granted.  We are blessed, but please let’s really work together to make every drop counts.

– Dear2

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