PUB seeks ways to better protect coastal reservoirs against future sea level rise

SINGAPORE - The Public Utilities Board (PUB) is calling for a tender to conduct an engineering study that can identify possible measures to protect Singapore's coastal reservoir structures against future sea level rise.

Such structures include dams, tidal gates, dykes and spillways at the 11 reservoirs here.

Nine of the 17 reservoirs in Singapore are estuarine reservoirs situated near the sea.

These were created in the last 40 years by damming up the river mouths to create freshwater bodies and flushing out the salty water over time, said a PUB statement today (Jan 27).

The dams and dykes act as tidal barriers to prevent seawater from entering the reservoirs.

Besides the estuarine reservoirs, Pandan Reservoir and Jurong Lake, which are connected to the sea by canals, are also included in the study.

The study will review the design of the existing structures at the coastal reservoirs and assess if they are adequate to cope with the projected sea level rises based on the 2nd National Climate Change Study conducted by Centre for Climate Research Singapore.

It will also look into measures to ensure the structural integrity of these reservoir structures against the projected future sea levels.

Some of the possible adaptation measures include raising of tidal gates, installation of buffer beams, and measures to retrofit the tidal gates structures.

"We need to start early to enhance our adaptation plans to address the impacts of climate change and protect our water infrastructures", said Mr Tan Nguan Sen, PUB's chief sustainability officer.

"While the reservoir structures are adequate in addressing the current sea levels, taking on this study allows us to prepare for future sea level rises and take early steps to protect coastal reservoirs against seawater intrusion up to the year 2100," added Mr Tan.

To cater to long-term sea level rise, the minimum land reclamation level in Singapore has been raised by another 1 metre in 2011. This level is more than 2 metres above the highest recorded sea level and is adequate in addressing projected sea levels.