SINGAPORE: National water agency PUB will spend S$500 million over the next two to three years to upgrade existing drains, so as to better cope with more intense storms in Singapore.
Upgrading works for drains and canals at 16 locations will also start next year, PUB said in a media release on Thursday (Nov 30).
“With climate change, we expect more intense storms to occur more frequently in Singapore," said Mr Ridzuan Ismail, PUB’s director of catchment and waterways.
He added that PUB would continue to tackle this by deepening and widening drains.
"However, due to competing demands for land use, there is a limit to this measure," he said.
A more "sustainable approach" would be to manage stormwater where it falls and at areas where stormwater could flow to, by putting in place measures to slow runoff into public drains and protect developments from floods, he added.
The Government has invested about S$1.2 billion on drainage improvement works since 2011.
Since 2012, drainage improvement works have been completed at 325 locations, while drains and canals at another 75 locations are undergoing expansion, said PUB.
Works at these 75 locations are expected to be completed over the next two to three years, and include enhancements at Bedok Canal, Kallang River and Sungei Pandan Kechil.
Works on the Stamford Diversion Canal which - together with the Stamford Detention Tank - is meant to alleviate flooding in an area which includes the Orchard Road shopping belt, will be completed by the third quarter of 2018, said PUB.
In addition, expansion of the Bukit Timah First Diversion Canal, a 3.2km canal running from Bukit Timah Road near Maple Avenue to Clementi Road, will be completed by the end of next year.
It will enhance flood protection for the Upper Bukit Timah catchment area including Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Beauty World Plaza and Sime Darby Centre.
“These drainage projects will reduce flood risks but in more extreme storms, floods may still occur," said Mr Ridzuan.
He said that PUB will update the public on flood situations through its social media accounts and mobile app MyWaters.