SINGAPORE: A new diversion canal to prevent flash floods on Orchard Road will be completed by early 2018, national water agency PUB said on Thursday (Jun 9).
The Stamford Diversion Canal will channel water from Stamford Canal to the Singapore River, supported by a new detention tank on Tyersall Avenue which will run by early next year.
Speaking at a media visit to the worksite on Thursday morning, Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli said the project will alleviate flooding along Orchard Road during heavy rain.
"The Stamford Detention Tank project that you see over here is both to mitigate and help out with possible flooding in the Orchard Road area. But more importantly in the longer term, we hope that we also help to mitigate the variable weather pattern that we're going to see. More frequent, intense rainfall in between," he said.
Flooding on Orchard Road occurs when the Stamford Canal overflows with rainwater.
The new two-kilometre-long Stamford Diversion Canal will channel water from the upstream section of Stamford Canal to the Singapore River. It will run from Tanglin Road, along Grange Road and past Hoot Kiam Road, Irwell Bank Road and River Valley Road.
The diversion canal aims to reduce the load on Stamford Canal during heavy rain by about 30 per cent.
A detention tank is also being built on Tyersall Avenue, to reduce pressure on the new diversion canal in the event of heavy rainfall.
Excess stormwater in Holland Road drains will overflow into the tank for temporary storage, and will be released again into the diversion canal only when the water level in drains fall. Rainwater collected through the diversion canal will eventually flow from the Singapore River into Marina Reservoir.
The Stamford Detention Tank will be completed by early next year, and the diversion canal by early 2018.
To further protect buildings in Orchard Road from potential floods, PUB is also working with developers to invest in flood protection features like flood barriers, as well as crest and platform levels.
On top of flood prevention measures, PUB has also completed drainage projects at 256 locations since 2013. These include drainage works at Cashew Road and Alexandra Canal.
Meanwhile, Mr Masagos also responded to questions about Singapore supplying an additional six million gallons of water a day for a month to Johor since Jun 4.
Johor had made the request as the current dry weather has severely affected water levels in Johor's Sungei Layang dam.
Mr Masagos said Singapore has sufficient water despite facing weather challenges.
He said: "In providing water to Malaysia, we first ensure that we have adequate supply. We are able to extract our 250 million gallons per day on average over the month although we are always challenged. The salinity of the river is increasing and intrudes into our water works."
Mr Masagos added that he has made suggestions to Malaysian authorities to tackle depleting water levels at the Linggiu Reservoir. Operated by PUB, the reservoir improves the yield of water from the Johor River, from which Johor and Singapore draw water.
"We have asked the Malaysian authorities to look at other ways to top up the Linggiu Dam, including putting up dams across Sayong, pumping systems at Sayong River as well as Sedili Besar so that it can augment the volume at Linggiu and at the same time, help both Singapore and Johor," he said.