Water is an essential precondition for life as well as a vital resource for the economy. It also plays an essential part in the climate regulation cycle. Water and climate are, and always have been, intricately linked. For these reasons, freshwater is a finite and precious resource necessary for sustaining life, ensuring sustainable social welfare and economic prosperity, and ecosystem health.

Pressure on water resources has increased due to population growth together with rapid urbanisation, as well as economic and social development that has changed lifestyles. Pollution, mainly caused by sewage leaks and chemical discharges, has made clean water a rare and valuable commodity. Protection of water resources is therefore one of the priorities of environmental protection around the world.

The following are some key facts about water:
  • Less than 2% of the world’s water supply is fresh water.
  • Taking showers rather than baths would save enough water every week to make 1,000 cups of tea!
According to Singapore’s water authority, the Public Utilities Board (PUB), per capita domestic water consumption in the country has been brought down from 165 litres per day in 2003 to the current 152 litres. The target is to lower it to 147 litres by 2020 and 140 litres by 2030.

The Eco-Schools Programme can be used to introduce to pupils the importance of water both locally and globally, and to raise awareness about how simple actions can substantially cut down water usage. Schools can reduce their water consumption by assessing how much they use every day and setting targets for reduction, identifying leaks and drips, adapting the flow rate of taps and reducing the amount of water used in toilets. Many eco-schools have addressed water and utility costs as part of their Action Plan. Careful water management together with an effective education programme has led to reduction in water usage by two-thirds in some eco-schools.
© Chris Martin Bahr / WWF
Eco schools water
© Chris Martin Bahr / WWF