Water Science and Public Policy

  1. Take-up and Impact of Real-time Feedback for Water Conservation: A Pilot Among Households with High-baseline Use in Showering

    Lead Researcher
    Leong Ching
    Year Awarded:

    The Four National Taps, i.e. imported water, catchment areas, recycled and desalinated water have given Singapore access to clean, safe water at a turn of a tap. However, it is equally important to manage water demand going ahead. The Singapore Public Utility Board's (PUB) Water Conservation Strategy  has several programmes in place to manage water demand in both the domestic and non-domestic sector.  Over the years, the efforts in water conservation have seen Singapore’s per capita domestic water consumption drop from 165 litres per day in 2003 to 150 litres currently. PUB aims to reduce daily per capita domestic consumption of water to 147 litres by 2020, and to 140 litres by 2030.

    A study shows that taking a shower is the single largest source of domestic water consumption, accounting for 29% of water usage in a typical Singaporean household.

    The research project proposes a large-scale randomised controlled trial, testing the willingness to adopt a real-time feedback device that helps households conserve water in showering. The device has previously been tested in a field experiment in Singapore and has proven to be effective.

    This project is also an extension of existing research at the Institute of Water Policy on institutional change and the role of emotions in public policy. If successful, this project will form the basis of an immediately implementable cost-effective and scalable policy.