There Might be Water Coolers in Orchard Road Soon But It Might Not Be Free

In Singapore’s hot weather, it’s easy to get thirsty, especially when strolling in the heat. 

You’d be glad to find out, then, that there are plans to install water coolers along Orchard Road. Unfortunately, though, in the true spirit of those glitzy streets, the water coolers might not be free.

Plans For Water Coolers To Be Installed

The Orchard Road Business Association (ORBA) announced these plans in a forum on Monday (5 June). 

According to their chairman, Mr Mark Shaw, Orchard Road has long been one of the best shopping streets in Singapore, and it attracts tourists from all around the world. 

In light of this, the ORBA plans to implement environmentally friendly measures to aid Orchard Road in maintaining its relevance and allure in a changing world. 

He revealed that the ORBA is currently in talks with Singapore’s Tourism Bureau regarding the installation of water coolers along Orchard Road.

“Orchard Road does not currently have any water supply points, so these must be installed separately,” he said. “The installation requires the involvement of various relevant authorities to install the water pipes needed”.

No Concrete Plans Yet

The plan is not set in stone, and the ORBA is currently working to promote it. 

There is no set implementation time for the water coolers, as of now. 

Mr Shaw also added that the purpose of installing water coolers is to reduce the usage of disposable plastic products. The coolers will allow the public to fill their own bottles with water, so they will not need to purchase bottled water.

Because of the costs of installation, maintenance and operation, the water coolers might not be free, unfortunately.

“Currently, we are negotiating with the tourism bureau to install basic infrastructure,” he expressed. “After that, we might look into making these spots more Instagrammable (as in picture-worthy).”

Will Not Affect Businesses 

According to ORBA’s consultant Lu Yaoqun, a professor at the National University of Singapore, these water coolers are not hard to install, and the plan can be implemented relatively quickly.

However, he pointed out that it was important to ensure that food and beverage businesses along Orchard Road would not be affected by the scheme. After all, the water coolers are designed to help reduce plastic waste by discouraging patrons from purchasing drinks in plastic bottles from convenience stores.

“We are not trying to replace the F&B industry. As long as we state that clearly, I don’t think there’ll be problems. I don’t think convenience stores would mind selling less bottled water,” he said. 

According to experts, some of these water coolers can be placed on the streets, and others can be placed inside shopping malls, which would serve to entice patrons to enter the malls.

They also added that schemes like this could encourage the public to bring their own reusable bottles to fill them up at the water coolers.