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Creating a tide of change

12 May 2021

A big splash was made island-wide in March as Singapore dived into a bustling month of water conservation activities, with a mix of ground-up community events and a PUB water campaign rallying Singaporeans to #MakeEveryDropCount.

March has become the month for the nation to celebrate water, with activities leading up to  World Water Day on March 22 – a day designated by the United Nations to celebrate water and raise awareness of the global water crisis. A quarter of the global population today, about 1.6 billion people, do not have access to clean, safe drinking water.

To drive home the urgency of water scarcity, this year's PUB water campaign went beyond conservation to an issue that will equally impact Singapore's water security if little is done.

The campaign's message – “The climate is changing" – rippled through the nation, reaching an audience of 3.1 million.

1.    A DELUGE OF MEDIA SUPPORT

The month's initiatives made an impression on both social media and traditional media.

Political leaders, including Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, expressed support for the campaign on social media such as Facebook, helping to generate public awareness. For example, PM Lee's Facebook post on World Water Day saw about 7,000 engagements.

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Netizens responded positively to the campaign, with many stressing how water conservation is crucial in protecting future generations.

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Media coverage also more than doubled to 53 reports compared with 2020, going beyond mainstream media to include lifestyle and parenting sites.

2.    WHAT IF CITY HALL STATION WAS FLOODED?

Imagine familiar landmarks and our MRT stations being inundated by water when sea levels submerge Singapore. The campaign's “takeover" of City Hall station gave commuters a glimpse of a dystopian reality if environmental concerns go unheeded.

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These visuals were also seen on buses and bus stop advertisements, reaching millions of people in the heartlands and Central Business District area.

3.    A TORRENT OF COMMUNITY EFFORTS

From March 20 to 22, the Singapore skyline glowed like a scene from the movie Avatar as 44 landmark buildings – such as the Singapore Flyer and Singapore Sports Hub – lit up the sky with blue lights for the “City Turns Blue" event. The stunning sight made the front page of The Straits Times.

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Singaporeans were also swamped with offers from corporate and retail partners. Electronic retailers like Best Denki and Gain City offered special deals for their water-efficient appliances as more than 60 retailers and businesses offered blue-themed discounts in March.

People around the island wore blue in solidarity on World Water Day, including employees of Asia Pacific Breweries, PSA Singapore and F&N Foods.

These were part of a community movement, known as #GoBlue4SG, which saw 447 community partners organising 504 events and activities across 17 towns and districts. Feeling blue had never looked better.

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4.    STREAMING A MESSAGE OF HOPE

Good water conservation habits should start from young. To instil this water-centric mindset, over 80 schools conducted weekly water-related activities on Wednesdays in March. Themed as “Water Wednesdays", these saw a wide range of fun activities from storytelling and “show-and-tell" sessions to help younger ones understand climate change, to hands-on clean-up activities for the older students. PUB Splash Lab, a competition for polytechnic students to solve water-related issues creatively, drew hundreds of participants. The winning entry was a futuristic role-playing game where water knowledge saves the day.

In the wider community, Science Centre Singapore hosted a “Day as a Droplet" Gallery Hunt for little ones to experience the shape-shifting wonders of the water cycle, while the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (also known as MUIS) held water-themed sermons at their mosques islandwide.

5.    THE NEXT WAVE​

The campaign also welcomed several new partners onboard. This year, clothing brand UNIQLO shared water-saving tips on a feature wall in its Plaza Singapura store. The Singapore Waterski & Wakeboard Federation also came onboard, with national waterski athletes making a splash in a special performance.  

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Be prepared to be wowed by future campaigns as PUB continues to build a water-conscious culture. It's time for a tide of change!