SINGAPORE: PUB will begin a study on protecting the City-East Coast coastline from rising sea levels caused by climate change, the national water agency said on Tuesday (May 18).
The study, which will take about four years to complete, will cover 57.8km of coastline across three areas – Changi, the East-Coast Marina stretch and part of the Greater Southern Waterfront district.
This section of the coastline has been identified to be more vulnerable and critical based on a number of factors. These include the potential impact of a flood, criticality of assets such as airports and economic districts, and opportunities to "dovetail" with upcoming developments, said PUB in a media release.
Besides reviewing international best practices, PUB will collect site data to support design works, formulate measures to adapt and develop solutions to mitigate flood risks.
"When PUB was appointed national coastal protection agency in April 2020, this study was earmarked as a significant milestone in our mission to prepare Singapore for the impacts of sea-level rise," said Ms Hazel Khoo, who is the director of PUB’s coastal protection department.
"But this is just the beginning – the real challenge is to develop solutions that are flexible and adaptive to climate change uncertainties, to safeguard our island and people from flooding risks while ensuring our coastlines remain liveable."
The study is also an opportunity to explore both engineering and nature-based solutions to better integrate with local development and land-use plans, Ms Khoo said.
"This will allow us to potentially enhance the living environment and create new recreational spaces with multi-functional uses for the community like what was done at Marina Reservoir," she added.
Studies to protect Jurong Island and the North-West coast – comprising Sungei Kadut and Lim Chu Kang – are next in line. The Jurong Island study will begin later this year and the Lim Chu Kang study will start in 2022.
Last year, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat announced the setting up of a Coastal and Flood Protection Fund, with an initial injection of S$5 billion, to deal with the risk of rising sea levels. The fund will be topped up whenever Singapore's fiscal situation allows for it, Mr Heng said.
The City-East Coast study will be undertaken by CPG Consultants, a subsidiary of Singapore-based consultancy services, infrastructure and building management firm CPG Corp. The company was appointed following an open tender last year.
To bolster PUB's knowledge and expertise in coastal engineering, the agency said it has also formed a coastal protection panel comprising local and international experts. The panel will be chaired by Professor Chan Eng Soon, CEO of the Technology Centre for Offshore and Marine Singapore.
The panel will share international best practices and planning considerations, advise PUB on building new capabilities and help in its overall planning efforts.
"Coastal protection is a complex and long-term undertaking. Besides consulting experts, PUB also intends to adopt a collaborative approach as we develop the strategies and solutions to protect Singapore's coastlines," said the agency.
"The agency will work closely with the community and relevant stakeholders, including nature groups and businesses, to seek their feedback on the proposed coastal protection measures and explore opportunities to create a vibrant living environment in harmony with nature."