Environmental News Archive

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A Lifestyle On The Reservoir

Aug 9 2007 (TODAY)

From being the venue for this year's NDP, the Marina Basin will soon be an
exhilarating site for recreation, thanks to PUB

Just 2.5km away from this year's National Day Parade at Marina Bay is a
project that is equally, if not more, massive.

Called the Marina Barrage, the development will see a dam being built
across the Marina Channel, transforming the Marina Basin into Singapore's
first reservoir in the city - the Marina Reservoir.

The 350m-wide dam operated by PUB, the national water agency, will have
nine water gates, intelligent water level sensors, automated water pumps
and a visitor centre sheltered by a landscape roof that doubles up as a

After its completion at the end of this year, the dam will effectively
shut out the open sea. This will ensure a constant water level in the
reservoir, which will not be affected by tides.

The water, which covers a surface area of 240ha, will make the reservoir
an ideal venue for recreational activities such as boating, windsurfing
and water-skiing.

But PUB won't have to wait till next year for its latest venture to be in
the limelight. That the Marina Reservoir was chosen to host the NDP -
ahead of the dam's completion - was a vote of confidence in the venue's
potential for hosting major events in the future.

PUB's director of drainage, Mr Yap Kheng Guan, said: "This is only an
indicator of bigger things to come."

One of these is its Active, Beautiful, Clean (ABC) Waters programme, a
project which is being rolled out over the next 20 years.

This programme is, in turn, part of PUB's larger strategic objective to
bring people closer to water, so that they can better appreciate and
cherish this precious resource.

Even though this is the third year that PUB will be part of the marching
contingents, the location makes it exceptionally significant for the

Said assistant contingent commander of the 72-strong PUB squad, Mr Bernard
Tan: "It is an NDP that's held on our own reservoir. And I feel proud of

To commemorate it, PUB also sponsored 500,000 bottles of Newater, with
specially designed labels featuring its mascot, a raindrop called Water

But Mr Yap also reminds us that it isn't just up to the sponsors or the
participants to make the parade a success. "We need as much help as
possible in keeping the waters clean. The water belongs to everyone," he

"Water that's going into the reservoir is coming from one-sixth of
Singapore's land area, from as far as Ang Mo Kio," he added.

Singapore's water system of drains and canals is so well connected that a
careless toss of junk into a drain in the heartlands could end up in the
city waters - definitely not a pretty sight for NDP.

In 2009, when Marina Basin becomes Marina Reservoir, it would be as Mr Tan
said: "The NDP spectators will actually be looking at the very water that
they will drink."

Good that this year's parade is a timely reminder then, to give us a
two-year head start. Serene Huang

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