The Public Utilities Board (PUB) has announced on Monday that it has accepted the flood panel’s recommendations and will carry out a comprehensive plan to address Singapore’s flood woes.
Part of the plan includes spending about $750 million over the next five years to improve the drainage capacity of six major canals - Bukit Timah 1st Diversion Canal, Geylang River, Alexandra Canal, Rochor Canal, Sungei Bedok and Sungei Kallang - by 30 to 45 per cent.
In the immediate term, Stamford Canal’s capacity will be increased. A polymer lining will be introduced to smoothen the canal walls and diversion of some services such as sewer and NEWater pipelines. These will be completed within a year.
The national water agency will also work with public sector agencies to refine flood protection guidelines for buildings and carry out a detailed examination of each catchment area. Other measures include better managing surface run-off through local detention ponds and green surfaces.
“Recognising the challenges posed by weather uncertainties and increasing urbanisation, we have put in place a multi-pronged plan that covers the entire spectrum of drainage and flood management. This includes implementing higher drainage design standards and holistic solutions, building new capabilities and working with stakeholders to improve preparedness. Through these efforts, we seek to minimise and mitigate the impact of flash floods in Singapore,” said PUB’s chief executive Chew Men Leong.
In addition, PUB will be improving its heavy rain warning service to ensure earlier warnings are given to the public for future floods. This service is set to be introduced later this year.
A flood forecasting system will also be phased in within the next two years with information gathered from cloud patterns, rainfall and water levels in a bid to improve public preparedness.
PUB also announced that by March, a flood warning system will be available for the public through its website.
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