by Teo Soh Lung
The NewPaper today has two interesting articles. The first is “Managing water demand can help too” by Martin Stavenhagen, Joost Buurman & Cecilia Tortajada.
I like the information on water consumption of the European Union, how they conserve water and how much an individual consumes each day. The average for them is “around 130 to below 100 litres a person a day”. A Singaporean on the other hand consumes 151 litres a day. Out of curiosity, I calculated my own average and arrived at about 110 litre a day. I can still improve on this average, like not mopping the floor unless it really feels bad when my bare feet walk on it! Or I could walk with home slippers and don’t feel the dirt which is quite a good idea as I am not one who enjoys house cleaning!
Another article on the same page is “Tiered water pricing could soften blow” by Ronnie Lim Ah Bee. He suggests a four-tier water pricing system where a frugal consumer will not be penalised. It is very easy to find out who consumes more water than others as our water bills provide nice graphs every month. I agree with the writer.
The right to clean water is a basic human right. We need water to live. The government’s across the board increase of 30% on the cost of water has serious consequences for everyone. The coffee shops are already charging 30 cents per cup of warm water. I don’t believe they will not increase the price in the near future.
We already pay tax on water consumption. Minister Heng Swee Keat assures us there are cash rebates, GST vouchers etc and an additional sum of more than $850 million will be provided for the poor. But why make the poor depend on handouts? And what about those who don’t qualify for any rebate or handouts? Why raise cost for all and then help some to pay part of this cost? Why not just tax the culprits who waste water which can be done easily?
Taxing all is a no brainer solution to encouraging people to save water and to help the private water company make more money. It just shows how bankrupt our government is today. Collective punishment is never a solution to a problem.