Water-Sand 海洋-沙漠

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Hong Kong has struggled with water supply for a long time in the history. There was severe water shortage in the 1960’s when people only had 4-hour access to water every 4 days[1]. Nowadays the government has made a big progress in providing stable freshwater supply by spending billions to purchase most of it from Dong jiang River in Guangdong Province[2], however, Hong Kong people’s awareness of saving water is disappearing with the abundant materials around their daily life. In 2015, Hong Kong’s freshwater consumption per capita is 21 percent above the global average[2], which demonstrates the overuse of water.

An average Hong Kong person showers more than once a day and uses 55.2 liters of fresh water[2]. Paul Chan Mo-po from Secretary for Development of the Hong Kong government argues that Hong Kong citizens should get into the habit of taking shorter showers to contribute to the city’s sustainability of the future supply of fresh water[3]. By doing a questionnaire investigation, it is found that only 3 people out of 19 have the habit of turning off the water tap when they do not need water during their shower[4]. One of the interviewees describes “just a step away from the water” when using shower gel and letting the water keep running.

Water-Sand is a special countdown which shows the water becoming sand gradually when taking a long shower. It gives people a sense of wasting when they overuse the shower water. It is made of transparent rigid plastics with water and sand layers. The junction in the middle is controlled by a switch linked to the water tap of the shower: when turning on the water tap, the Water-Sand starts dropping; when turning off the tap, it stops. If taking a long shower, the water will become a pile of sand, which represents the user is wasting water. The scales on it show how much time and water the user has consumed. It can be turned upside down for a new count-down for the next shower. Compared to the water sensors on the market, water-sand is more aesthetically pleasing which attaches to the user’s heart and emotion with water.

Water-Sand is expected to be installed by each household in Hong Kong and also in public shower rooms to raise awareness of saving water. It can be mass-produced by cooperating with plastic manufacturing to meet a lower cost. Another potential environmental-friendly manufacturing method is to cooperate with those faculties trying to recycle plastic into new products[5]. According to research, 1mintue less shower, which means approximately 10 liters of freshwater less consumed, can save up to 0.3 HKD for a household with three people every day[6].

In conclusion, Hong Kong people should be aware of their water consumption and care for it. Water-Sand is such a product that links the user’s emotion to water meanwhile call for a shorter shower. The version of this business is to call the consumers to save their money by paying fewer water bills and finally to save Hong Kong’s water.

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Reference & Notes [1] 4th general meeting - WSD.GOV.HK. (n.d.). Retrieved May 6, 2022, from https://www.wsd.gov.hk/iwahk/content/pdf/minutes/4th_general_meeting_090331.pdf [2] Hong Kong's water resources going down the drain . South China Morning Post. (2013, July 25). Retrieved May 6, 2022, from https://www.scmp.com/comment/insight-opinion/article/1290553/hong-kongs-water-resources-going-down-drain

[3] Hongkongers urged to spend a minute less in shower to save 10 litres of water a day . South China Morning Post. (2014, May 18). Retrieved May 6, 2022, from https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/article/1515060/hongkongers-urged-spend-minute-less-shower-save-10-litres-water-day

[4] Survey on Hong Kong people’s shower time

[5] Peters, A. (2017, October 30). These DIY machines let anyone recycle plastic into new products . Fast Company. Retrieved May 6, 2022, from https://www.fastcompany.com/40486883/these-diy-machines-let-anyone-recycle-plastic-into-new-products

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