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Thursday, 15 January 2009

Don't Waste Free Water

Just a little observation today. I live in beautiful Petaling Jaya, where the gardens are green and the state is being run by the opposition. The one good thing that the opposition has done since taking over this state in 2008 is paying for every household's water usage up to 20 cubic metres. This works out to RM6.00 per month of subsidy from the state. It goes to SYABAS, the water company for Selangor.

Recently, a pipe in my house became leaky thanks to some fancy tinkering of my family member. (No names shall be named.) The first night it leaked, I came by and observed and drank my water slowly. Drip, drip, drip. The water kept flowing, from the knob into a styrofoam tray, placed strategically under the dripping point to avoid the water flowing all over the kitchen counter. Somewhere at the diagonally opposite end of the styro tray there was a small hole where water flowed (or dripped) into the sink. Drip, drip, drip. It made a sound, like raindrops on the roof. The sink is made of metal. Curious at the spectacle, I put a bowl under the hole in the styro tray. It filled up within 1 minute. That was a lot of water going away. I went to sleep. The next day, I woke up to see the bowl was full. I poured away the water, and within a minute it filled up again. This was bad. I turned off the water in the main pipe. Problem solved!

The moral of this post is that:
  1. Even though the Selangor state government pays for the first 20 cubic metres of our household water usage, there is no need to waste that water. Some bright individuals may start thinking of selling treated reverse osmosis water using their household water, but that is making money off of the state. That's not fair, for business owners who have to compete with fixed costs.
  2. Even though the first 20 cubic metres are free, I did not waste the water. Water is a precious commodity. Yes, we live in a land of plenty, where rain falls often, but rampant wastage of a precious necessity would increase the need for the state government to make sure that there is enough water for everyone. If everybody had an attitude that spelled "I don't care, it's free for the first 20 cubic metres", it would require the state government to channel more natural resources to our domestic homes. Meaning: more natural habitat of flora and fauna having to be destroyed for the creature called Man.
I would like to refer the casual reader to this article on Reuters: Malaysia discovers "Singapore-size" water reservoir. (date: 28 Aug. 2007) The following points can be noted from the article:
  1. Rapidly increasing water demand in Malaysia due to industrialization and population growth had caused experts to warn of shortages by 2011 or 2012.
  2. The government will be spending RM8 billion on the water sector until 2010. (No reason mentioned why)
  3. Singapore relies on Malaysia to meet water demand.
  4. An inter-state water supply plan is in the works. It will cost RM10 billion. Under the plan, water will be channelled from Pahang to Selangor through the Titiwangsa mountain range. There will naturally be some tunnelling and piping necessary.
See, if we all saved a little bit of water, we could do so much more for the rest of society. Despite the first 20 cubic metres being free. (Not that the pro-BN fellows are complaining).