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  Straits Times 18 Jul 07
PUB to pour money into firms that conserve water
New fund supports use of alternative water sources like Newater, seawater
By Tania Tan

Channel NewsAsia 17 Jul 07
Fund set up to help industries save water innovatively

SINGAPORE: The government has set up a new Water Efficiency Fund to encourage industries to be more innovative when it comes to saving water.

Speaking at the inaugural WaterMark Award ceremony on Tuesday evening, Environment and Water Resources Minister Yaacob Ibrahim said the fund would help companies and community groups implement water saving initiatives, and it could also be used for research and community campaigns.

The WaterMark Award, organised by the PUB, recognises people and organisations that have made outstanding contributions in the effort to use water wisely.

Of the nine winners selected for the award, four are organisations like Alexandra Hospital, three are schools and two are individuals.

One of the individual recipients, 45-year-old Albert Phee, visits his neighbours to spread the message of saving water by giving them thimbles, which help to reduce water flow, and helping them install these thimbles on taps and shower hoses.

Mr Phee and his family also practise what they preach. He said: "When I wash my clothes, I do a full load, collect the rinse water to wash the toilet or flush the toilet.

"I try to save water and at the same time, these habits help me to reduce water bill not just for my family, but also for my friends. I'm doing my part to conserve water for the country. I have also imparted these habits to my kids."

His daughter, Jolin, said: "When my sister bathes for a long time, I'll ask her to quickly finish her bath because the water is wasted. It's not being used properly."

Washing vegetables in a basin and saving that water to flush the toilet later may sound simple, but many are still not practising such water-saving techniques.

Singapore's per capita domestic water consumption has been dropping progressively and currently stands at 158 litres a day. - CNA/so

Straits Times 18 Jul 07
PUB to pour money into firms that conserve water
New fund supports use of alternative water sources like Newater, seawater
By Tania Tan

SLASHING their water bills can be more profitable in more ways than one for companies here. There will be a new fund to encourage industries to try out water-saving tactics, like using Newater or seawater as an alternative water source, and to promote water conservation in the community.

Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, announced this Water Efficiency Fund yesterday evening - with Marina Bay, rather aptly, as his backdrop.

The area will be converted into Singapore's newest reservoir in 2009.

Details of the fund - which is set up by the national water agency the Public Utilities Board (PUB) - are still fuzzy as PUB has yet to reveal how much money is available, or how much subsidy each project will get.

But PUB says it can help with monies if the organisation needs to do feasibility studies, or to do trials with new water-saving technology.

The main targets are industries like manufacturing and places such as hotels, which use a large amount of water each day.

But corporations which have 'creative and innovative' ideas on how to conserve water, and need a little financial boost, are welcome to apply, said PUB. Applications open today.

Yesterday, Dr Yaacob also presented the inaugural Watermark Awards.

As a follow-up to PUB's Friends of Water programme last year, these Watermark Awards are meant to go a step further, by recognising individuals and organisations who have been actively involved in water conservation, promoting water issues, and keeping the island's waterways clean.

Nine recipients were honoured including Temasek Polytechnic, Alexandra Hospital and property developer City Developments Limited. They stood out from the more than 50 nominations received since March.

Dr Yaacob said that it was becoming ever more important that people had 'a sense of ownership' when it came to Singapore's waterways, especially now that these estuaries and rivers are slated for recreational activities.

Also honoured yesterday were last year's President's Award for the Environment winners: Ambassador-at-Large Professor Tommy Koh; Nature Society chairman Dr Geh Min and volunteer group Waterways Watch Society.

They were presented with honorary awards for their 'life-long contributions' to the environment, said Dr Yaacob. taniat@sph.com.sg

Related articles on Singapore: water issues
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