Singapore World Water Day 2017

It was a day of fun and celebration as more than 4,000 people gathered at Marina Barrage on March 4 to celebrate the launch of Singapore World Water Day (SWWD) 2017. The theme for this year – “Make Every Drop Count” – underpins the active role that all of us can play as individuals to show that we care and appreciate our waters.

It was my first time attending SWWD (with my friend Arc), but I had lots of fun while learning plenty of new water conservation tips on the way too. So if you didn’t manage to head down to SWWD last Saturday, here’s a quick tour just for you.

Before my exploration of SWWD officially began, while wandering around aimlessly, I received this little game card from someone at the event. Arc and I decided to share the card between us.

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When you open it up, you will see some cute graphics (at the top) teaching you how you can save water at home – and an empty area at the bottom that says ‘collect your stickers here’. There are six spaces for you to paste stickers and, as you can see, I’ve already occupied one.

There are a total of nine activity booths, but you only need to visit six of them to fill up the game card and redeem a gift (while stocks last). These booths are managed by students from different schools, and you only get a sticker when you manage to complete the required activity at each individual booth.

The first booth that I visited was the one managed by students from Anderson Primary School.

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Students from Anderson Primary School standing by their project.

They were very enthusiastic about their project, which educates people on how they can save water when washing their cars (very helpful for those who own vehicles).

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A visitor trying out the ‘true or false’ activity.

There were 8 questions about car wash that you have to (correctly) determine to be either true or false before you can get your sticker. But to help you out, they have kindly set up a presentation nearby that you can refer to for answers.

Despite getting a little stuck at one question, I successfully obtained my sticker and headed over to the next booth which was managed by students from North Vista Primary School.

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Students from North Vista Primary School with their teacher.

They had something really familiar laid out on the table – but it’s not Monopoly! The students from North Vista Primary School called their game ‘AquaPoly’.

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AquaPoly

Arc and I played against each other in one quick round of AquaPoly. We were given game money and 3 ‘Life Cards’ each. According to the rules of the game, you automatically lose when you give up your last ‘Life Card’. Arc’s avatar was a toilet bowl; mine was the blue water droplet.

Despite being down to my last ‘Life Card’ barely halfway through the game, I won the game! Arc and I had to answer another question after the game in order to receive our sticker, but we got that right too. (Who is PUB’s mascot? Water Wally!)

And we that, off we go to the next station: Bedok North Secondary School!

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Student demonstrating how to read the Water Meter.

The students from Bedok North Secondary School gave us a quick lesson on how to read the Water Meter: To track your water usage for this month, for example, simply subtract last month’s reading from this month’s reading to determine how much water was used.

There were eight questions that we were required to pick from to test our understanding of how to read the Water Meter – and thankfully there was a calculator nearby for our use.

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The Water Wally key chain we received.

Aside from the sticker (we gave the correct answer), the students also gave out Water Wally key chains as a bonus! Keeping our loots safe, we headed over to Pasir Ris Secondary School’s booth.

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Student demonstrating how to install the thimble.

Over at this booth, students from Pasir Ris Secondary School taught us how to install the thimble. We were quizzed on the correct order of steps to take to install our own thimbles at home. It was a very educational session with much to take away from.

You can get your free PUB Water Saving Kit here.

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My Water Pledge.

But just getting the right order for installation wasn’t enough for the students. Arc and I had to write down our water pledges (still struggling to keep it below 5 minutes) before we could receive our sticker – and it was pure coincidence that we both ended up writing the same thing!

OK, 4 stickers down. 2 more to go.

Next stop, Institute of Technical Education (ITE)!

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Father and son in front of the ITE booth.

Here, we learnt to determine just how much detergent is enough when doing our dishes. The team’s project, “Detergent: How much is enough? Save Money, Reduce Wastage” had clinched top prize in the Singapore Junior Water Prize Competition 2016.

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They came up with this really helpful Consumer Education Card that you can follow to estimate the number of pumps required to get your dishes clean and sparkling (well, maybe not sparkling). We filled up a version of our own too with our favourite food items.

We also received a SWWD goodie bag from the ITE booth (I really like the design).

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It was 10am by then and the activity booths had to be temporarily closed. Arc and I went over to the stage area to enjoy the performances while waiting for Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean’s arrival.

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Stage area, watching the performances from afar.

Meanwhile (in the image below), this is the queue for people waiting to redeem their gifts. They have already completed their game cards!

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Public queueing to redeem their gifts.

And………….. (finger drums)

DPM Teo arrives!

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Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean giving a speech.

I did not stay very long for DPM Teo’s speech and drifted off to explore the other exhibitions nearby.

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Public with their umbrellas over their heads.

It was already starting to drizzle when I made my way over to the kite making workshop. I was late for the 10:30am session so I stood by and watched the others.

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Making kites together.

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Making kites together.

Arc was unfamiliar with the new water-efficiency labels so we went around to learn more about them too.

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Pamphlet for water-efficiency label.

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Tips to save water from the washing machine.

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How to read the water-efficiency label.

Personally, I enjoy spending lots of time in the bathroom so I was interested in finding out how to cut down on my water usage there. There were exhibitions for that too.

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Demonstration of water usage from shower head.

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This device provides you with your water consumption data.

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I really should consider getting one of these.

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‘Digital’ toilet bowl.

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Ah boy, use the half-flush!

This demonstration teaches you to use half-flush for liquid waste, and full-flush for solid waste. It was complimented by Dunman High School’s booth activity, which requires you to pour water into a bucket to ‘flush’ paper down a tunnel to reach the bottom of the bucket (mimicking the act of flushing).

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Filling up a bottle with water.

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Pouring water down the bucket.

Participants were asked to stop immediately after all the paper has been ‘flushed’ down. And it was then that we realised that the bottle was only half-empty (half-flush)! So use half-flush for liquid waste, and full-flush for solid waste. You can save lots of water this way.

At Chongzheng Primary School’s booth, we were given puzzle pieces that – when pieced together – provided tips on how one can conserve water in the bathroom.

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Students from Chongzheng Primary School with their teacher.

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Puzzle pieces in clear containers.

At Republic Polytechnic’s booth, we learnt how to read water-efficiency labels – as well as knowing that we should always wash on a full load in order to save more water.

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Student demo at Republic Polytechnic’s booth.

And last but not least, Arc and I found our way to Ang Mo Kio Primary School’s booth. And I was completely fascinated by the students’ invention.

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Student standing next to her invention.

This girl is completely talented! She and her teammates are the brains behind Hydro Warrior: Automated Arduino Grey Water Recycle Water Management System –  a system that uses the leftover water from hand-washing and water from reservoirs to flush the toilet.

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Close up of the recycle water management system.

This innovation won the Merit Award at the Green Wave Environment Competition 2015.

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Students from Ang Mo Kio Primary School also invented the Hydro Saviour: Arduino Smart Garden Automated Irrigation Water Management System. This is an automatic plant-watering system that uses soil motion sensors to manage the garden’s irrigation.

And well, that pretty much summarised my day at SWWD.

But wait! I see some Water Wally game machines nearby!

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Children playing “Let’s Find Water Wally”.

This game requires you to find all the missing Water Wally by tapping on them. The shortest records will appear on the Hall of Fame. The children set the record at 05.76 seconds but I was determined to be faster.

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My record – Jun.

I couldn’t believe that I actually got 05.46 seconds on my first attempt! Now this is what I call a perfect end to an amazing event. Well, that’s all I have to share for Singapore World Water Day 2017! Hope you’ve enjoyed the long read (and the many photos)!

P.S In conjunction with SWWD 2017, The Community Meter was also launched – a showcase of everyone’s contribution and commitment towards the water cause. When the meter hits 1,000,000 drops, the public can enjoy free entry to all public pools for a day. Water-efficient appliances will also be donated to less privileged families.

By Vivian Tan

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