World Water Day 2017

World Water Day (WWD) is held annually on 22 March – a day designated by the United Nations to celebrate the importance of water sustainability. Events are held worldwide on this day to inspire people to learn more about water related issues, and take action to make a difference.

On 22 March 2017, the MEWR family (MEWR, PUB, NEA) celebrated World Water Day at the Environment Building, Singapore. The event served to remind us on the importance of safe and clean water, and recognise just how fortunate we are to have clean water at our disposal. Earlier this month, Singapore World Water Day (SWWD) was celebrated at Marina Barrage. For a recount of the SWWD event, you can read it here.

If you didn’t manage to attend WWD 2017, here’s a detailed rundown of the event with me as your talkative tour guide. Buckle your seatbelts and sit tight, ‘cause you’re in for a meaningful water conservation ride.

This is our ‘train’ ticket for today. We’ll be visiting a total of five stations!

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And off we go!

Station 1: Water Conservation Pledge

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At our first station, you’re strongly encouraged to take the pledge to save water. Making a commitment to conserve water is the first step in the right direction, because it means you understand that water is a precious resource and are willing to do something about it.

It can be something as simple as a change in daily routine e.g., cutting your shower time to below five minutes, and turning off the water while you soap up or brush your teeth.

It doesn’t take more than a few seconds to scribble your name down on the board, and it doesn’t take a lifetime for you to change your routine habits. Make every drop count. Water conservation can be a lifestyle, and it can be yours too. With that said, let’s proceed to the next station.

Station 2: Water Wally Online Games

At the two interactive screen-game koisk, you can expect a tough challenge for a spot in the Hall of Fame. And it’s not just about having fun; these games are all educational in their own ways.

First up, we have “Let’s Find Water Wally”. Players are timed as they attempt to locate the 10 mischievous Water Wally that have hidden themselves amongst the colourful landscape. I tried this game a couple of times and realised that I got better results when I didn’t rush straight into the given task. Sometimes, we need to slow down our pace to better appreciate the world around us and discover new things in life. The world is a beautiful place!

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The second game, “Fix The Leak” is 45 seconds of non-stop tapping as you attempt to fix the many leaking pipes. This serves as a reminder for us to constantly check for leaks in the household as they can be in places that we don’t always notice.

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And last but not least, we have “Keep Our Drains Litter Free”. The rules are simple: Catch the falling litter before they drop into the water. I was strangely fascinated with this game (you can see this from the record below – Vivian).

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The average survival time was five seconds because lots of people failed to catch the first cigarette butt. From this, you’ll see that it’s easier to stop yourself from littering than trying to pick out the litter afterwards. Do your part in keeping our drains litter-free, and our waters clean!

All passengers on board, train doors closing!

Station 3: Photo & Information Panels Q&A

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Stunning photography works were showcased on photo panels at this station. These are the winning entries of the 2016 #mytakeonwater photo competition. Every year, PUB organises this competition with the objective to encourage photo enthusiasts and professionals to share with others their interpretation and reflections of how water has transformed the nation or touched their own lives.

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It was a staggering showcase of the phenomenal connection between man and nature through the lens of a camera, which serves to remind us once again why we should treasure and protect our beautiful waters.

Participants at the station were asked to take a slow walk around the five panels – two on water conservation and three on #mytakeonwater – and quizzed on their content afterwards e.g., How many percent of the water in the world is fresh and accessible?

The answer is 0.5%. It was a sure way of ensuring that you’re absorbing the facts!

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Err… This train will be stopping here for awhile. Am I the only one who thinks that these dispensers are really cute?

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OK, with my thirst quenched, next stop: Station 4!

Station 4: Mix and Match the Water Saving Habits

There are five water saving tips that you should all be familiar with by now – but have you committed yourself to them?

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At this station, you’re asked to match the correct activity (e.g., showering) with the corresponding water saving tip (e.g., keep your shower time below 5 minutes).

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Almost everyone did well, though there was one person who set me rocking with laughter when he matched the showering image to “ washing on a full load”. I’m pretty sure the content for that kind of washing doesn’t include yourself!

As a summary of this station, here are the five water saving tips:

  • Take shorter showers.
  • Wash on a full load.
  • Use reduced flush.
  • Wash vegetables or dishes in a filled sink.
  • Use a mug when brushing teeth.

And… Let’s proceed to our last station!

Station 5: Jerry Can Activitiy

Imagine going through even just one day without ready access to clean water for drinking, cooking, washing, or even bathing. Around the world, millions of people spend hours each day with one strapped securely on their backs, held tightly to their hips, or balanced on top of their heads. The Jerry can is a part of their daily lives.

And today, you can experience just a little of what it feels like to have to travel – super far – every day just to collect clean water for your day-to-day activities.

A 50m walk with two 5-kg Jerry cans. Can you do it?

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A Jerry can (pictured above) is a container for fuel or water. Many people in developing countries use it to haul and store their drinking water. To us, the Jerry can is a symbol of the water crisis – and a symbol of hope to change the water crisis.

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I certainly hope that all who have participated in the Jerry can activity have learnt to appreciate our precious waters a little more.

And with that… Yay! We’ve completed all five stations!

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Also, the Water Conservation Pledge board has been completely filled up!

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Can you spot Minister Masagos Zulkifli’s signature? Here’s a close up (it’s the one in blue)!

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Also, here are some of the bonus takeaways at WWD 2017 – besides the very educational learning journey.

For one, you can grab an instant print at the photo booth.

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If you’re lucky, our friendly mascot might be hanging around the area for a photo together.

If not, you can always get creative with the many available props.

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And what better way to end off the day than with a sure-win spin at the social media booth?

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At this station, you are invited to either ‘like’ PUB’s Facebook page or ‘follow’ their Instagram account for a chance to spin the wheel.

You will also receive a token at the Water Audit Challenge booth if you’ve participated in the Water Audit Challenge and are able to show a reduction of at least 1,000 litres in your household water usage – or if it falls below national average – for the month of January / February.

And that all but sums up WWD 2017. I hope you’ve enjoyed the l-o-n-g read!

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Bye bye! See you next year!

 

By Vivian Tan

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