The extraordinary water solution

This is another excellent example of how Singapore tackled its problems in its uniquely Singaporean way. Another classic case study for the top management schools around the world.

Singapore with its limited land has a perennial water shortage problem and has to import water from Malaysia. It was never to be self sufficient in water. But this was a major challenge it faced and it was pushed to a corner when the sale of water was used as a hostage by Malaysia to make life very difficult and may even derail its development plans. Singapore is now self sufficient in water by maximizing its water catchment area, reservoirs and technology in water treatment, and the rest is history.

Many people forgot that other than the above, there is another element contributing to the success in water management. We may have enough water, but enough is relative. If the people carelessly misuse this precious resource, we will need more reservoirs and never provide enough water for the island. And there is the economic growth factor that would continue to raise the demand for water.

Here is the brilliant solution. Impresse and educate the people on the importance of water and water conservation. Water is a precious item and should not be wasted by careless and inconsiderate usage. But all these are talks and would only be partially effective on people who are already conscious and responsible. The irresponsible and reckless tiada apa type will continue to waste water no matter how often they are told not to do so. Yes, the solution is to hurt them where it hurts most. Tax on their pockets.

There is a surtax charged on the use of water in addition to the high fees and other taxes. This Water Conservation Tax stands at 30-45% of water used. The reckless and irresponsible can waste water at their convenience, but their pockets will be hurt and emptied by 30-45% more. The additional tax is to teach the people the importance of water conservation.

This is so brilliant that it solved the water management problem and adds into the public coffer. Another brilliant Singapore solution to be taught in Schools of Public Administration. Make them pay and they will heel.

The same theory can be applied to other goods. The high rate of changing mobile phones, and many in good working order is a big waste on natural resources. If govt is serious in conservation of mother earth, they can apply the same principle to prevent wastage of mobile phones. Make additional purchase of mobile phones be subject to 30% tax. Similarly there should be a Car Conservation Tax for anyone buying more than one car. And Petrol Conservation Tax, ….


Anonymous said...

How about conserving the use of high quality brain power.

High quality brain power is so precious and scarce in Singapore, it has to be specially conserved. So we must pay a high salary so that these brain power will only be used sparingly.

This is the most probable explanation for the increasing number of fiascos in Singapore.
Pay more salary for more fiascos.

Then pay more again to find a solution.

Matilah_Singapura said...

The best way to "conserve" anything is to use the price mechanism. Scarce goods == higher price.

In that way you can forget about trying to "educate" people who won't listen anyway. Hit them in the wallet...that is the fastest way to get the message to the brain.

Taxes are a poor substitute for floating price system.

and the price should fully reflect the cost of producing and distributing the water, including the cost of (say) 6% dividend on share of the privatised entity.

Don't knock S'pore management -- many of them kick-arse on the world stage.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Soon we will be just like the rest of the world when these institutions are taken over by foreign talents. We were the best in many things when we ran them with Singaporeans in charge.

We are going to turn them one by one into rotten apples like western institutions.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Well, IMO if (so-called) foreign talents can do a better job, then in the long run everyone benefits.

Anyway, many of the present-day (so-called) foreign talents will be tomorrow's new citizens, and they will produce off-spring. (aka human children)

A more diverse gene pool is much better for everyone...in the long run.

To replace some of the dead-shit who dare call themselves "Singaporeans" (i.e. the moth-breathing knuckle draggers who claim a "birth right" simply because they exited their mothers' vaginas - vaginas which happened to be in Singapore territory when they split wide open and spewed forth their contents) with IMPORTED EXOTIC SPECIES is not such a bad idea.

So keep those borders open, and let those who dare come in!

9-15 million, bring it on!

Anonymous said...

Me has just one silly opinion that runs contrary to Redbean.

Hand phones and computers should be distributed free, just increase the line subscription fee. Many people in the World are wasting a lot of precious time on their mobile and computer.


Anonymous said...

The worst part is that you get to pay 7% GST on top off that 30% tax.......

Anonymous said...

Making money from the people is so easy.

Anonymous said...

Are you sure we have sufficient water supply for all of us? If you believe that, you could be brainwashed to believe that. What you see and know is not what actual is. There is no evidence to prove that this is true. But just have to believe what the MIWs said. They are almost like god or saint. Otherwise, who do you believe since nothing here is really transparent to us?

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

We have enough reservoirs to serve out needs if we do not crazily go for another million population.

If we continue to push for growth by having more heads, even turning Orchard Road into a reservoir will not be enough.

It is a matter of supply and demand, relatively speaking.

Anonymous said...

No need to use the land to build reservoir lah, we can build more and much bigger reservoirs at the shoreline or in the sea. Similarly, we can have cities in and over the sea too.
Nothing is impossible with our talented leaders around. Don't ever worry!