Water conservation in Singapore


Research question: Goal-Setting in the context of water conservation


Partners: Public Utilities Board of Singapore, National University of Singapore, University of Bonn, Amphiro AG


Principal investigators:  Davin Wang (National University of Singapore)


Core team: Lorenz Goette (University of Bonn), Verena Tiefenbeck, Tien Foo Sing (National University of Singapore), Thorsten Staake, Samuel Schoeb


Budget: CHF 130’000


Timeframe: Jan 2015 – Dec 2017



As of today, already one fifth of the world’s population experiences absolute water scarcity; by 2030, almost half the world’s population is expected to live in regions of high water stress (United Nations, 2013). For countries without sufficient fresh water resources, effective water demand management strategies are particularly crucial to reduce their dependence on their neighbor states. In this context, the Public Utilities Board of Singapore has set up a National water conservation plan with the goal of reducing the current per-capita demand for water from 151 to 147 liters by 2020 and 140 liters by 2030. Together with colleagues at the National University of Singapore (Department of Real Estate) and Singapore’s Public Utilities Board, we have developed and are conducting a field experiment to assess the effectiveness of technology-based water conservation strategies in a field trial in Singapore. A total of 920 smart shower meters are deployed for 4-6 months all over Singapore. In a randomized controlled trial, the project investigates the effectiveness of different goal levels for water conservation with and without real time feedback on goal attainment.