Singapore’s Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Masagos Zulkifli, announced on 17 July, 2019, that the Singapore government will spend SGD 400 million (USD 289 million) to upgrade and maintain drains over the next two years.
Since 2011, Singapore has spent around SGD 1.8 billion (USD 1.3 billion) on drainage improvement works to boost Singapore’s flood resilience. Part of this investment wen towards the Stamford Diversion Canal and Stamford Detention Tank completed last year, which significantly enhance the flood protection of the Orchard Road areas in Singapore.
The Minister was speaking at the Environment Forum, an annual ideas exchanging and collaboration platform for various partners of the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources. He mentioned that Singapore is building new projects such as the Tuas Port Terminal and Changi Airport Terminal 5 at higher platform levels. But this is not enough because one third of Singapore is less than 5 meters above mean sea level. Hence, the Singapore government is studying how to protect the rest of Singapore, and in particular the low-lying areas around the coast, adding that Singapore needs to start preparing and investing now to ensure that the city is prepared if sea levels rise faster or are higher than currently projected.
Climate change adaptation and mitigation will be a major focus of Singapore’s infrastructure works and spending for the foreseeable future. Some of the measures, which might require hefty investments, will be implemented over the long term, possible over the next 30, 50 years or 100 years.
(Sources: Straits Times; Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, Singapore)