STATE OF THE CITY: As Singapore moves towards water self-sufficiency, price hikes are a fact of life

-A +A

SINGAPORE (June 25): When Tan Tiong Peng started a laundromat in Singapore eight years ago, customers complained that his imported washing machines spat out too little water as they put their clothes to wash. It took Tan almost a year to convince customers that his Europe-imported models used a lot less water for the same load of laundry than conventional washing machines, as water tariffs were much higher in European countries.

“With our washing machines, water now makes up only 5% of our cost, even if water tariffs go up by 30%, it is not a lot for us,” says Tan, who owns the Wonder Wash and SQ Laundromat brands as well as other franchises with a total of 88 shops across the island.

It was the right decision for Tan to get those European washing machines, with Singapore raising its water prices by roughly 30% after 17 years. The first hike came last July and the next will take effect next month. For non-domestic users, water prices went up from S$2.15 per cu m to S$2.39 per cu m last July, and will...(click on link for full story on