A few weeks ago, banners were strewing along Orchard Rd, promoting SIWW 2009. Just like any other GEN Y hippie, I shrugged it off.

Water, we can afford.


So I returned home that Friday, after a long day under the sweltering Singapore sun. Enjoyed a bowling game, looking forward to a good night’s rest.

Nature’s call, I needed the toilet urgently.

Just as I finished flushing, I heard my mum shriek, running frantically into my room.
“Aiyo, girl!! Why you flush the toilet?!?! We got no water for tonight you know. Water pipe clogged, lah!”

And that began my 24 hours of water rationing.


My maid SY- thank god we have someone from a third-world country in this household – did the wise move of emptying the water purifying machine & water taps of every drop of water left. The water collected was then put into separate containers, for consumption.

And because the kids are all spoilt brats, we needed to bathe before bed.

Once again, SY to the rescue. She shoved a one-litre Nalgene bottle to each of us, and demanded that we bathed out of it. Now, Singaporean maids have this unspoken sense of authority that the Gen Y kids respect and fear. Once they command that you do something (and that occurs very rarely), you do not refute it. And so the 3 overgrown kids trotted off, sulking and utterly confused on how we are supposed to bathe out of our water bottles.

Sister CF was the first. We reasoned that water rationing can be conducted for bathing, too. And this is my sister’s recipe..

200 ml – Before shampoo
200 ml – On the sponge for body foam
400 ml – To wash everything off
200 ml – Facial wash

Unconvinced, I proceeded to take my shower.

I was really amazed at how humans can adapt to scarce resources and evolving demands.  My bath consumed a mere 900ml of water, and the remaining 100ml was used to brush my teeth!


Life without water was a real hassle…

Adjoined toilets could not be used,

Hands could not be washed at will,

and all of us drank soya bean to quench our thirst.


As the plumber cleared the pipe at noon the following day, mum concluded that, if we could bathe out of a Nalgene bottle everyday, our water bills would decline dramatically.


But an abundance of water supply is a need, and not a want, in Singapore’s modern society.
While saving water is essential, I believe it is imperative that we venture into new research and find modern methods of maintaining our nation’s comfortable level of water supply.