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Friday, 24 February 2017

Water too cheap no good

Why bother?

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?

Percentage lies

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?

No right?

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.


  1. Replies
    1. CW,

      I think that applies to life in general too.

      Being "too cheap" is no good socially.

      And pretending its "frugality"... Who bluff who?

      You think why I admire and respect the butterfly? He is the only one who wrote, "My former miserly ways..."

  2. Hi SMOL,

    I like Taiwan too, especially the less urbanized cities. They seem to hold Singaporeans in high regards, if u notice.

    U dun bluff, u like Taiwan because of the mei meis there.

    As for cheap talks, I felt it when some around me keep saying our leaders stupid, dun know how to pander to china, unlike the Philippines who and who... ignorance can be irritating

    1. Sillyinvestor,

      I where got bluff?

      Mei-mei and jie-jie and part of Taiwan people, aren't they?


      Wow. I am a man-whore yet I got more pride. I don't let clients kiss my lips OK?

      Sycophantic, obsequious, servile, subservient, slavish... These are not exactly compliments.

      Arse-licking, bum-sucking, spineless, soulless people I try to keep my distance.

      Life is too short to mix with snakes.

  3. "Cheap Things Never Good. Good things Never Cheap" is normal.

    Until you have "Free Things"(Welfare state?), then what?

    No need to go to welfare state situation.

    i have seen many instances when the offers are really FOC because of certain privileges as members of an associations or workers of a company, then all sorts of misuse(read abuses)occur.

    Who says there is no "free lunch" in the world?

    There is, but it will disappear very fast due to who cares or greed?

    1. temperament,

      That's why I never trust those politicians who say free this and free that.

      I encourage Singaporeans to visit Greece for their European holidays. The islands are great and still doing well. Its when you return to the Greece mainland that's when you see the "sufferings" of the common folk...

      This is what you get when you bought into snake oil spin from politicians that promise retirement at 55 with full pension benefits, reduced taxes year after year, subsidised transport fare; etc.

      It makes as much sense as taking on debt to pay dividends to shareholders.

      Yield hogs shareholders can't act surprised, can they?

  4. Water has been way too cheap for way too long already in view of its huge importance.
    Unlike the eventual substitution of the world's oil supplies as an energy source, there is no substitute for H2O.
    There is also no way to 'create' water artificially. We have to do with the amount of water that we have. It's a finite but renewal resource. We do "use water", but we don't "consume water"! Water is not an exhaustible resource!
    Having said that the amount of water on planet earth is fixed. But the demand is rising (minimum in tandem with population growth). Hence the price has to go up over time too.
    Basic economics.
    It could be close to a know-brainer / no-brainer to invest in water for the long-term.

    1. Andy,

      I am surprised it took so long for big daddy to do this price increase...

      A better way would be to do spread the price increase over several years earlier like boiling frogs.

      You know, a 2-3% this year, another 1-2% some years later.

      This way, we avoid a big ticket shock like 30% over 2 years...

      Those responsible for GST increases have done a better job in this regard ;)

      As a consumer, of course I don't like this water conservation tax. Who likes to pay more?

      But from a national security standpoint, that was a brilliant move!

      And may make great economic sense years later when we can "export" potable water to our neighbours ;)


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