71 % of our planet is made up of water, and only 1% of that is freshwater, considered usable for human need
We may all be familiar with the fact that water is a precious resource, but are we really doing enough to preserve and care for this resource?
As a part of the year end CSR activity, the members of The Leadership Institute recently volunteered to take part in the river clean up activity conducted by Waterways Watch Society of Singapore.
The Waterways Watch Society or WWS is an NGO founded in 1998, dedicated to keeping clean, preserving, and spreading awareness about the precious waterways of Singapore. It was indeed an enlightening experience to learn so much through this activity.
Kicking off the activity at 9.30 am was a brief yet insightful history of Singapore’s water management system followed by the clean- up drive. We were also joined by some of our very enterprising trainers and a bunch of young and talented interns. Keeping in mind the social distancing rules, we were spaced out in smaller groups in different motorboats. The ride that began at the Kallang riverside, took us from the Marina Reservoir through the magnificent Singapore River, passing various landmarks like the Merlion, and Clarke Quay.
Our mission – to spot with a hawk’s eye any form of trash floating in the water and clear out the garbage with the fishnets that each of us had been armed with.
We were lucky to be greeted by the resident otters and the monitor lizard as we cruised through their home while also witnessing heritage sites and breath-taking views along the river.
Here are some jaw dropping facts shared by our hosts:
Water demand in Singapore is currently about 430 million gallons a day (enough to fill 782 Olympic-sized swimming pools)
Singapore is one of the few countries in the world where we can drink water straight out of the tap because the PUB conducts up to 400,000 tests for a year before it is certified safe for consumption
15,000 litres of water is consumed to produce one hamburger
However, the highlight of the activity which was also a little disheartening was to spot garbage strewn across the beautiful waterways.
Stopping occasionally, we succeeded in scooping out an assortment of litter the likes of plastic bags, drink cans, empty snack packets, cigarette butts and much more.
The moment of truth - more than 20 kilos of trash had been collected from the river in less than 2 hours.
What was gratifying to know that we contributed in whatever small way we could that day to make the river cleaner.
The good news - you do not have to give up on hamburgers and yes, the water consumption has gone down compared to the last few decades, however, there is a target we aim to meet and for that here are some ways you and me can help.
1) Turn off shower when soaping
2) Use a tumbler and turn off tap when brushing your teeth.
3) Wash dishes/vegetables in a container and not under a running tap.
4) Wash clothes on a full load.
5) Use the half-flush option whenever possible.