For Clean Water And Blue Skies

Let’s do our part for a quality and sustainable living environment

Clean water, fresh air, and a quality living environment. Without them, life will be uncomfortable – for this generation and beyond. It is important to protect our natural environment and precious resources.

Budget 2017 took a decisive step towards the safeguarding of our urban environment, with the introduction of three key measures. They are, an increase in the price of water, the restructuring of diesel tax, and introduction of a carbon tax:

1. Water: Having access to water is a matter of national survival for Singapore. The price of water will be increased in two phases from 1 July 2017. By July 2018, families will pay about 30% more for water. However, after taking into account additional U-Save vouchers given to HDB households, those staying in three-room flats and above would only see an average increase of between $2 to $11 in their water bill per month while the water bills for 1- to 2-room flat households on average would not see any increase. Click here for more details such as estimated water bills after the revision.

2. Diesel: Diesel emits highly pollutive particulate matter and nitrogen oxides, which are associated with health issues. There will now be a usage-based tax at $0.10 per litre of diesel but the lump sum Special Tax on diesel cars and taxis will be reduced. Click here to find out more information on the changes.

3. Carbon: Singapore is committed to the international effort to address climate change and reduce emissions. From 2019, a carbon tax on the emission of greenhouse gases will be applied upstream on power stations and other large-scale direct emitters.

These measures encourage Singaporeans to use less water and diesel, and reduce carbon emission.

Why Are These Measures Needed?

Most Singaporeans understand the strategic importance of water and the need to conserve it. With better water technology, we have managed to overcome the limit of our natural and imported water supply with NEWater and desalination. Yet, demand for water will continue to increase and is expected to double by 2060. Ensuring a sustainable water supply will become more difficult and costly in future.

Besides securing our future water supply, we must do our part as global citizens to fight climate change. Increased emission of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuel has formed a thicker “blanket” around the Earth which traps heat from the sun. Global temperature is rising and it is affecting our climate.

Not only will we feel the heat from warmer days, there may also be heat waves, heavier rainfall and flooding. Reservoirs and rivers may start to dry up.

If we do not act today to conserve water and slow down the emission of greenhouse gases, we will be leaving behind a harsher living environment for our children and grandchildren.

What You Can Do To Save Water And Reduce Greenhouse Gases

There are many ways to save water, reduce harmful emissions and be environmentally friendly.

  • Take shorter showers.
  • Turn off the tap while you wash your hands and body, or shampoo your hair.
  • Install water-efficient toilets and use half flushes if possible.

  • Use a basin instead of running water to rinse and wash dishes.
  • Soak pots and dishes so that they are easier to wash.
  • Avoid using too many pots, plates and cutlery and use utensils of the right size for cooking so that less washing is needed.

  • Choose water-efficient washing machines.
  • Only wash with a full load and choose the right load size and cycle.
  • When hand-washing clothes, save the water for cleaning the bathroom.

  • Switch off sockets to reduce use of unnecessary standby power and switch off appliances when they are not in use.
  • When buying refrigerators and air-conditioners, choose those with more energy-efficiency ticks.
  • Switch to energy-saving light bulbs.

  • Walk or cycle when travelling short distances. It’s good for the environment and you get some exercise too.
  • Use public transport instead of driving, to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and air pollutants.
  • If you buy and own a car, choose a fuel-efficient model and service your car regularly.

Manage Waste

A lot of energy is required to produce food and consumer products, contributing to greenhouse gases.
  • Reduce waste by not over-stocking your refrigerator or buying too many household or personal items. Use less packaging and disposable items such as plastic cutlery, food containers or plastic bags.
  • Reuse items such as paper, plastic and even old clothing. Be creative with new uses for unwanted stuff. Sell or donate your preloved items instead of throwing them away.
  • Recycle electronic waste, paper, plastic, glass etc.

Conserving Resources For Future Generations

There are many other ways to save water and energy in our daily lives and it takes only a little effort to get into the habit. Not only will we be doing our part for the environment, but we’ll also be spending less and adopting a healthier lifestyle.

We may not see the impact of our actions on the environment immediately. But taken together over a longer period of time, limited resources can go a longer way and future generations can continue to enjoy clean water and blue skies.

Last updated on 13 Mar 2017