The Straits Times today is reporting that water levels in the Linggius Reservoir in Malaysia are at a historic low. While Singapore does get some water from this reservoir, there is no need to panic (yet) because national water agency PUB has been increasing its water production here in Singapore. There are no current plans to restrict water usage but the dry weather is expected to continue and water supply will continue to be monitored closely.
Still, the news provides another grim reminder that climate change is upon us and extreme weather conditions (such as drought) are more and more common.
While the rain yesterday and this morning was a welcome respite from the warm July sun, conservation should always be something we strive towards. There is no currently mandate to conserve water but we have found a few easy ways for you to conserve your water usage – starting today!
1. Take shorter showers. Nobody loves a warm, relaxing shower as much as I do but showers are notorious for wasting water. Statistics vary but a 5 minute shower is estimated to use between 10-20 gallons of water. Letting the water run empty while it heats up can waste this precious resource – one more reason to celebrate our hot climate – a cold shower isn’t so bad! If you take your time scrubbing up, shut the water off while you suds your hair and turn it back on to rinse off.
2. While toilet flushing technology has gotten better, requiring less water to flush, you can further conserve your usage by taking care not to use the toilet as an ashtray or wastebasket.
3. Check for leaks: faucets, toilets, shower heads, etc. can have small leaks that seem harmless but the amount of water lost to these tiny leaks can add up quickly.
4. Turn off the water after you wet your toothbrush. Instead of running the water continuously while you brush your pearly whites, turn the water off, brush and turn back on only to rinse.
5. Rinse your razor in the sink. Again, instead of continuously running the water while you shave, fill the sink with a little water and rinse your razor.
6. Check your washing machine cycles. Use the minimum number of rinse cycles. Adjust the temperature to the cooler setting and be sure the water level to match the load (1/2 load of clothes should use half load of water). Many newer machines have an “eco” or “water saving” setting. Try to use it as much as possible.
7. Don’t leave water running while washing dishes. Similar to brushing your teeth and your potential new shower routine, suds and scrub all your dishes first and then run the water only to rinse them all together. Pre-soaking can help clean them more easily and efficiently.
8. Don’t wash your car every day. I know, you pay alot for it and want it to look good. It still will! If you must wash it, don’t let the hose run while soaping it up and try to use as little water as necessary.
9. If you have a lovely garden, try only to water your lawn when absolutely necessary. Adding a layer of mulch and fortifying soil with organic matter can help your plant to drink more efficiently. Water plants early in the day or late in the evening. Not only can this limit the amount of evaporation, but it also limits the growth of fungus.
10. Think before you consume. We use an incredible amount of water without even realizing it. Becoming more conscious of your water usage is the first step in learning how to better conserve it. Think: Instead of tossing old, warm water down the drain, use it to water a house plant. Teach your children to be mindful of their usage and do your part to waste less.
For more eco-friendly tips, click here.
By Kathleen Siddell, August 2015