Besides Japan, I have a fondness for Taiwan and its people. Hence my previous post on the difference between Taipei and Singapore when it comes to city planning.
Taiwan has a problem when it comes to water conservation.
It's too cheap!
If you are observant, you can find leaky water pipes when you meander along the backstreets of Taipei.
Why bother fixing them when water is so cheap?
How many listed local water technology companies does Taiwan have?
Computer chips making the Taiwanese have beaten us; who do you think is ahead when it comes to exporting water technology internationally?
The same goes for wind, solar, and other alternative sources of green energy. Their biggest fear is crude going below USD 40 again.
Would you install solar panels on your roof if it costs you more in the long term?
Would you switch to electric vehicles if the running costs were more than using petrol?
30% sounds a lot.
Can make lots of jokes and noise in cyber space.
But when was the last time you looked at your water bill and you wonder why its so high?
Most probably its electricity costs you more interested in. Especially when you used air-con a lot the previous month.
Maybe this 30% increase in water tariffs would be good in the long run?
Perhaps now you would make the effort to switch off the tap while soaping?
And buy taps with water saving feature installed (all IKEA taps have this feature)?
Don't blackmail me
Its not always about Dollars and Cents.
Once upon a time, someone "threaten" to turn-off the taps during the water negotiations.
And the very next day, my reservist unit got called for open mobilisation...
Hammer to anvil
Its no fun to live a life between the hammer and anvil.
One don't want to sell us sand. The other likes to threaten to turn-off the tap.
Must thank them. What doesn't kill us will make us stronger.
Singapore does not have natural resources.
But if we know how to turn "longkang" (drain) water and sea water into potable water, we now have a "resource" we can sell to the world.
And we won't go thirsty.
Sometimes we need to spend the necessary money and resources to invest in what's important for us.
Take the case of SMRT.
Once upon a time, other countries were learning from us how to design and build a world class transport infrastructure.
Then we got "distracted".
Now we have to learn from other countries on sharpening our saw.
All because we were "too cheap" to spend on maintenance...
No, water is too important to make the same mistake twice.