Singapore, July 4 (CNA) Taipei city government officialsaccepted an award from the International Water Association (IWA) Tuesday for a water conservation program that hashelped reduce average household water consumption in thecity by 15 percent.
The capital city outshone other East Asia competitors Tokyo and Seoul to win the marketing and communications category of the 2012 IWA Project Innovation Awards. Theother two were each given honor awards.
A total of 21 project entries were received for the Asia- Pacific Regional category of the competition. Evaluation of the entries was based on a set of criterion that included originality and innovation, as well as social, economic and sustainable design considerations, according to the IWA.
Between its start in 2007 and 2011, the household waterconservation in Taipei project has lowered the average amountof water each household uses per day from 263 liters to 224 liters, city officials said.
Deputy Mayor Chen Wei-jen accepted the award at the EastAsia and Asia-Pacific Regional Awards Ceremony, held inconjunction with the July 1-5 Singapore International Water Week.
Rainfall in Taipei is not scant, with about 2,363 mm per year, but it is concentrated only in certain areas, Chen said. The Feitsui Reservoir, a major water source for the greaterTaipei area, for example, can only supply the city for four monthseven when the 406 million cubic-meter dam is full, he noted.
As extreme weather situations become more and more frequent,water shortages can easily occur if people do not conserve water,Chen said.
The conservation project focuses on four aspects, which itdescribed as "family, community, school and society,"in water-saving promotion. For instance, the city governmentprovides fun and interesting educational materials to schoolsto teach children about water conservation.
It also organizes conservation contests in communities todraw more public attention to the issue.
The core concept of the project is to build public awareness of water conservation by getting people to take action in their dailylives, said Wu Yang-lung, director of the Taipei Water Department.
Wu said many of the participants at a forum that took place during the event were surprised to learn that Taipei's citizens have been willing to reduce their water consumption, even though water rates in Taiwan are much lower than those in many othercountries.
All the Asia-Pacific winners and honor awardees will advance together with those in Europe and West Asia, East Asia and North America regional competitions to compete for the PIA Global Grand Prize, which will be presented Sept. 19 at the IWA World Water Congress in Busan, South Korea.
(By Lu Hsin-hui and Kendra Lin)