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Creating a City of Gardens and Water – Singapore's Active, Beautiful, Clean Waters Programme

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A densely populated island-city state with only 700 sq km of land, Singapore has limited land to collect and store the rainfall. Despite this limitation, PUB, Singapore's national water agency, has ensured a diversified and sustainable supply of water for the country with its ‘Four National Tap’. Sustainable water management however requires nations not only to ensure adequacy in water supply, but also the collective effort of everyone to realize the vision of having a sustainable supply of clean water for all.

With two-thirds of Singapore becoming water catchments, it is of importance to ensure that rainwater draining into canals and reservoirs is well managed in term of its quantity and quality. Launched in April 2006, the ABC (“Active, Beautiful, Clean”) Waters programme is part of PUB's strategic thrust to bring people closer to water so that they can better appreciate and cherish this precious resource. Under this programme, utilitarian drains, canals and reservoirs will be transformed, going beyond their traditional functions of flood control and water storage into beautiful and clean streams, rivers and lakes. By integrating the streams, rivers and lakes with the urban landscape, new community spaces can be created, transforming Singapore into a “City of Gardens and Water”.

The Marina Barrage project demonstrates fully the aspirations behind this programme. The Marina Barrage, a dam located at the southern part of Singapore, was designed to be a unique 3-in-1 project to create a new source of water supply, a flood control mechanism and a venue for recreational and lifestyle activities. The Marina Barrage is a symbol of Singapore's success in water management. With multiple functions fused into one facility, it exemplifies PUB's integrated water management approach.

Keywords: ABC Waters; Marina Barrage; Singapore; Water management; community; drains; environment; flood control; rainwater; reservoir; sustainable; urban; water catchment; water supply; watershed

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2010

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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