NUS uses approximately 2.2 million m3 of water annually, which has remained relatively steady between 2012 and 2014 in spite of campus growth. Over the years, the percentage of NEWater (or non-potable water) in the water mix has also been increasing. Water conservation is important to NUS, and through the engineering solutions and behavioral modification, it has managed its water consumption judiciously.
The Water Management Task Force has implemented numerous water conservation measures throughout campus, including:
- Reducing the number of air-conditioning cooling towers
As more air-conditioning chiller plants are being upgraded and consolidated, the associated cooling towers are also being reduced. These more energy-efficient chiller plants will not only deliver electricity savings for the university, they will help save up to 20% of the water usage for the cooling towers.
- Use of water-efficiency labelled fittings or thimbles in tap fittings
These water-efficiency labelled fittings are used in all water points in new buildings and progressively replacing the older fittings for renovated buildings. Where the older and less water-efficient tap fittings are not due for replacement in the short terms, water-restricting thimbles are installed in them to reduce water consumption. Water points in buildings can be found in toilets, pantries, food outlet wash areas, laboratories and residential showers, amongst others.
- Replacement of full-flush cisterns with dual-flush low capacity ones
Progressive replacement of full-flush valves with dual-flush valves (half and full) are being carried out at all toilets that are undergoing improvement or facility renewal works. To-date, about 300 toilets had been installed with dual-flush valves.
- Irrigation of plants using collected rainwater
Rainwater from drains and ponds is collected for watering of the university’s landscape greenery of trees and shrubs lining the main roads. This translates to about 1,300 m3 (or 0.1% of potable water consumption) reduction in water consumption annually.