Three recipients to receive Watermark Awards for water conservation efforts

Kids at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital "recycling" water back into Yishun Pond. The activity promotes active living, and also educates visitors to the hospital on the concept of recycling and reusing water. (Photo: Loke Kok Fai)

Kids at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital "recycling" water back into Yishun Pond. The activity promotes active living, and also educates visitors to the hospital on the concept of recycling and reusing water. (Photo: Loke Kok Fai)

SINGAPORE: From self-maintaining rooftop gardens, to creative solutions to reduce water wastage, two organisations and an individual will be lauded for their innovative and sustainable use of water in this year's Watermark Awards.

The annual award recognises outstanding contributions and commitment to protecting and raising awareness of Singapore's water resources. 

The winners - Siloso Beach Resort, Alexandra Health System, and Asia Square's sustainability manager Philip Chan - stood out from 30 other nominees for this year's award.

Of the three, Siloso Beach Resort earned itself a higher distinction - the Honourary Watermark Award, for its holistic approach to both water and environment sustainability. These include using rainwater and spring water to irrigate its rooftop gardens and landscaping, as well as conducting water-centric eco tours with the Public Utilities Board to spread awareness of conservation practices amongst local and foreign visitors.

Mr Karl Fischer, manager for Corporate Social Responsibility at Siloso Beach Resort, said they had also discovered a way to tap on waste heat to reduce water and energy wastage.

"When we preserve the trees and the natural terrain, we have a steady water table. A steady supply of this spring water that we're actually using for purposes like our pool, for all our irrigation and for some of the outdoor cleaning. Recently, we've actually found out that we have extra heat waste that we can use, and further improve our water and energy efficiency."

The resort has been able to tap waste heat from air-conditioners and coolers. Instead of releasing the heat through water evaporation, hot water is brought to a heat exchange where it can be used to heat water in rooms or the hotel's spa. The cooled water is then sent back to chillers to restart the cycle. With this system, the hotel saves more water and no longer requires direct electrical heating.

Also utilising innovative measures to reduce water usage is fellow award winner Alexandra Health System. The healthcare provider's Khoo Teck Puat Hospital incorporates measures such as using water from Yishun Pond for irrigation of vegetables, and fun activities for visitors that help raise awareness of how water recycling works.

"We are using drip irrigation. It's a system that distributes water to the soil rather than using a water hose," said Mr Chin Yew Leong, assistant director of facilities management at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital.

Khoo Teck Puat Hospital's commitment to water conservation also extends to staff members. New employees are briefed on environmental preservation, and staff are encouraged to participate in water conservation projects

Asia Square's Philip Chan will walk away with this year's sole individual award. He devised improvements to water tanks at Asia Square, capable of saving 30,000 litres of water per minute, should they overflow. These improvements are due to be implemented between April and May.

This year's awards ceremony will be help on World Water Day, Mar 22, at the Singapore Sports Hub.

 

-CNA/rg