Singapore: PUB launches Request-for-Proposal to provide smart shower devices

PUB, Singapore’s national water agency, has launched their Request-for-Proposal (RFP) to provide smart shower devices that will be able to offer real-time information regarding water usage while in the shower. Such gentle behavioural prods have the potential of changing user habits and help reduce water consumption in the small island nation.

A collaborative NUS-PUB behaviour study conducted from July 2015 to March 2016 on the use of smart shower devices showed that households can save up to 5 litres of water per person a day when faced with real-time information provided during their showers. Leveraging on their findings, PUB to set the devices up in 10,000 new homes under a demonstration project named the “Smart Shower Programme” over the coming few years to verify the effect such devices have on water conservation during showers. If successful, the devices can aid households in bringing down their water bill by an estimated three per cent.

Through the RFP, PUB is also hoping to tap into innovative ideas from the water industry to enhance the current features of extant smart shower devices already available in the market. This includes looking at other, alternative methods of offering real-time feedback of water consumption during showers to realising the desired decrease in water consumption.

One other feature that PUB is looking to improve is the compatibility of other smart devices – like laptops, smart phones, and tablets – in allowing users to download the collected data onto their personal devices in order to keep an eye on their progress over a period of time.

The RFP is targeting 10,000 households as it aims to take advantage of economies of scales in order to produce the devices on a mass scale for the Smart Shower Programme that is expected to begin in 2018’s first quarter.

“Showering typically comprises 29 per cent of a household’s monthly water consumption. There is great potential to achieve substantial savings if we can change the user’s behaviour during his/her shower time,” Mr Michael Toh, Director of Water Supply (Network) of PUB, said. “Water is a precious resource, and everyone is encouraged to make water conservation a way of life. By making users more aware of their water usage in their daily activities, we hope to encourage people to adopt good water-saving habits and use water wisely, reducing their water bill.”

The RFP will be open until the end of May 2017.