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Singapore Standard - SS 577:2012 on Water Efficiency Management System

Posted on May 20, 2013 in Articles


Overview of SS577
Water is a scarce and precious resource in Singapore. With the increasing population and growing demand for water, there is a need to manage this scarce resource efficiently for the generations to come. In pursuing an environmentally sustainable path to growth and development, Singapore has developed the world’s first standard to manage this precious resource – SS 577:2012 on Water Efficiency Management System.

This is the new standard to provide guidelines for implementing a robust Water Efficiency Management System (WEMS). This standard will provide public and private sector with management strategies to recognize water demands, increase water usage efficiency, reduce costs and improve water efficiency performance.

SS 577 is modeled after the ISO 50001:2011 standards, using the Plan-Do-Check-Act Principle for continual improvement on the management of the water resources. It specifies applicable requirements on water use and consumption, including design, measurement, documentation and monitoring of equipment, process and system to achieve continual improvement in water efficiency performance.  This standard allows integration with other management systems such as ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 22000, ISO 50001 and OHSAS 18001.

Benefits of implementing SS577

SS 577 provides uncountable benefits - both tangible and intangible. A typical organisation would enjoy the following:
•    Increased awareness of the importance to use water efficiently and sustainably;
•    Adopted systematic approach to manage water efficiency within the organization;
•    Employed water efficient design and practices to reduce water consumption;
•    Reduction of operating costs through water efficiency, leading to savings and a more profitable
     organization;
•    Improved corporate image among regulators, customer and the public; and
•    Opportunity to be awarded the PUB’s “Water Efficient Building (Gold)” certification.

Considerations for implementation

There is no prerequisite for an organization to implement SS577. Organizations that currently have a Water Efficient Manager, or are certified to either ISO14001 or ISO50001 will be able to incorporate the various principles to implement SS 577 with ease.

It is highly recommended to be adopted for implementation in organizations with the following characteristics:
•    Huge water demand due to usage of large quantity of water in daily operations;
•    Absence of, or inadequate, water efficient practices being implemented;
•    Looking to get certified to the BCA Green Mark Scheme;
•    Striving to achieve Water Efficient Building (Gold) Certification; and
•    Currently certified to ISO14001 and/or ISO50001 and looking to better manage water efficiency.
 

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