Water is essential for life. Without water, all living things, be it humans, animals or plants, cannot exist.
While water is the most basic necessity for us to live, yet most people take for granted its easy access by just a turn of the tap.
According to 2017 statistics reported by SPAN, Malaysians use an average of 201 litres of water per person a day.
In Selangor, the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya itself, the usage reported is 222 litres per day for each person, which is over 30% of the 165 litres recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
In its continuous efforts to reduce excessive usage of water, Pengurusan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Air Selangor) launched its “Be A Water Conservation Warrior” campaign to raise awareness among the public to save water.
The water education and conservation campaign, launched by Selangor Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari at Padang Awam Batu Caves in Gombak, aims at instilling water-saving habits among domestic users.
“For the last two years, Air Selangor has been conducting water conservation efforts at a district level. To date, we have rolled out 22 water conservation programmes of which 13 were held in collaboration with state assemblymen while we worked with higher education institutions and government agencies for the rest.
“We then realise the need to elevate our water conservation efforts to the next level – the state level – in order to have a wider reach and thus, the launch of the Be A Water Conservation Warrior campaign, ” said Air Selangor chief executive officer Suhaimi Kamaralzaman at the event.
He also stressed that our nation’s water usage was high, compared to neighbouring countries.
“Singapore is meeting WHO’s recommended figure of 165 litres per capita a day while Thailand recorded water usage of 193 litres per capita a day.
“In line with SPAN’s target to lower the usage per capita to 180 litres by the end of 2020, we are aiming for 217 litres per capita a day in the next three years.
“The five litre-reduction may not seem much but it has a huge impact and it is hard to achieve without water conservation awareness among the public to appreciate the value of water and have a sense of responsibility towards using water wisely, ” he said.
Every drop counts
To show how big an impact by saving a small amount of water, Air Selangor Customer Billing Services Head Yusof Saroji shared an example of just one litre-reduction per capita a day in Taman Batu Caves, Sungai Tua.
“The area has an estimated 13,000 domestic accounts, of which average water usage from a random 1,200 accounts or 5,256 users is 37,047 cubic metre, equivalent to 234 litres per capita a day.
“If these 5,256 users can reduce water usage by one litre per person a day, the amount of water saved daily is equivalent to a 5,265 litre-Air Selangor water tank! That makes every drop count, ” explained Yusof.
To date, Air Selangor has organised 13 programmes out of 56 with state assemblymen, to share water-saving methods and also distribute water thimbles to domestic consumers.
“An amount of between 300 and 500 water thimbles were distributed at each location, ” said Yusof, adding it could save up to 15% of water bill when water thimbles are inserted onto the tap aerators.
Members of the public can get free water thimbles at any of the 10 Air Selangor offices or contact 15300 for further details.
Yusof also shared simple ways to save water, including turning off the tap while brushing teeth or shaving, washing or rinsing dishes, and washing the hands or face.
Instead of using the water hose, switch to a watering can to water plants or a pail to wash the car.
It can also make a big difference by limiting the usage of a washing machine to twice a week or when there is a full load.
“One of the main causes of water wastage is also plumbing leaks, so always check the water system supply and make repairs as soon as possible, ” added Suhaimi.
In conjunction with the campaign, Air Selangor will be rewarding the public for saving water through its Be A Water Conservation Warrior contest, with a total of RM200,000 worth of water conservation-related prizes are up for grabs.
Running until Jan 15,2020, participants will just need to produce a video or poster on water conservation, upload onto their Facebook and Instagram pages, and tag it with #beawaterconservationwarrior. Participants will need to change their profile to “public”.
On top of creativity, winning artwork will be selected based on the most likes and shares.
To further engage the public in water conservation, Air Selangor introduced four animated superheroes – Ir Adam, Dr Kim, Eo Hafiz and Mat Bidal.
The event also saw the presentation of water thimbles to nine representatives of the villages in the surrounding area.
Taman Selayang committee member Mohd Azri Abd Rahman commended Air Selangor for such good programme to educate the public on water conservation and ways to save water.
“I have heard of water thimbles but have not used any. Now that I know the benefits of it, I will definitely spread the knowledge that I have gained today with family and friends.
“Everyone ought to play a part in saving water, ” he said.
Kampung Sungai Kertas village chief Jamil Azaman Razak agreed with Mohd Azri that education on water conservation is of utmost importance.
“It is alarming to see the shared figures for water usage. Only with such programmes that we are able to share with others the benefits of water thimbles and simple actions that we can change in our daily routine to save water.
“I plan to do a briefing on water conservation before Friday prayers so people will be reminded to use water prudently, ” he said.