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14 January 2019

Introducing AskJamie Virtual Assistant!  


PUB has launched “AskJamie” on the website on 14 Jan 2019. “AskJamie” is a Whole-of-Government virtual assistant (VA) that is trained to answer queries about water-related matters (such as water supply, water conservation, drainage & sewerage requirements); and Building Plan related matters (such as Building Plan Submission, Development Control, Code of Practices).

While the VA is new and still learning, we invite your participation to ask questions which will improve its knowledge over time.

Chat with Jamie now! ​

5 December 2018

Preparing for the Northeast Monsoon

The Northeast Monsoon has set in and is expected to last till March 2019. PUB has been working with the community and stakeholders to prepare the wetter weather and possible flash floods. 

Distributing Flood Advisories and Sandbags

PUB officers are on the ground to distribute monsoon advisories and reminders to residents and shop-owners in flood-prone areas, with tips to protect their belongings and premises against possible flash floods. 

In addition, sandbags will be offered to about 600 residents and businesses in the flood-prone low-lying areas, upon request, to provide additional protection against floodwaters from entering their premises. 

Food Advisories 

Food Advisories  

Educating motorists

This year, PUB worked with the Automobile Association of Singapore to educate motorists on the precautions they can take, if flash floods occur during a heavy rain. For instance, motorists are advised to gauge the depth of floodwaters with the road kerb – if it is submerged and not visible, they should avoid entering the flooded area for their safety, as the vehicles may stall. 

Intensifying Inspections

PUB officers conduct checks on 36 construction sites adjacent/close to major canals to ensure the canals are free from debris and construction materials. During Monsoon season, officers will step up their inspections at another 70 major construction worksites island-wide to ensure that public drains around the sites can function smoothly to convey stormwater during heavy rain. 

Drainage Site Inspection 

PUB engineer conducts inspection at a construction site to ensure that reconstructed box culvert for the canal is built according to plan. 

What can residents and building owners do?

Agencies, Town Councils and building owners play a key role too. PUB has sent out reminders to these stakeholders to make sure that their pump drainage systems are well-maintained and the internal drains are debris-free. Building owners with flood barriers are also alerted to maintain flood barriers and ensure their proper operation. 

Flood Barrier Activated 

Flood Barrier Activated 

Flood barriers when activated

How does PUB do flood monitoring?

Officers at PUB’s 24/7 Operations Centre are on heightened alert for any storms. Through a network of about 210 closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras, they check road conditions in the low-lying areas and hotspots during heavy rain.

The network of CCTV is supplemented by 214 water level sensors at major drains and canals to help PUB monitor the water levels during storms.

Despite the efforts, flash floods may still occur especially when heavy rain coincides with high tides. This is when the Quick Response Team is activated to assess the extent of the flood, check the drains for any chokes and clear them, and render assistance where possible.  

Getting Hand on Latest Weather/Flood Information

To stay safe and prepare well for the wetter weather during this monsoon season, check out the latest weather and flood information via the following channels:

(a) Weather outlook and tide info

(b) Water level in canals and drains:
(c) CCTV images of road conditions:
(d) Updates on flash floods:
Download the monsoon advisory for more information [PDF].

By Jerome Goh

13 November 2018

Saving Water Starts from Young

Saving water starts from young” — a message that Perlin, a mother of three, strongly believes in. 

“Having been through water rationing during my younger days, I can better relate to the need to conserve water and use water wisely,” said Perlin. She also highlighted the importance to educate our younger generations on the sources of Singapore’s water supply, so that they would better value water, our precious resource.  

Interestingly, one tip that Perlin uses to advocate water-saving among her family and friends is through ‘CRM’ — Conserving, Reusing, Monitoring.  “Firstly, conserving every drop of water by reusing water, for instance, leftover water from washing of rice and clothes can be used to water plants and wash toilets respectively. Next, monitoring the water consumption chart on your water bill and setting a target to motivate your family to reduce the average water consumption for the next month,” shared Perlin.   

PUB Household Water Saving PUB Household Water Saving PUB Household Water Saving

Ms Wee, Perlin’s eldest daughter, added that since young, her mother would often remind them to diligently practise water conservation, be it at home or in school. 

Noting that Singapore has reduced the daily household water consumption from 160 litres to 143 litres per person over the decade, she commented that, “as long as every Singaporean has a common goal in mind — to use water responsibly and save water conscientiously — Singapore can definitely achieve the new target of 130 litres within the next decade.” 

By Jerome Goh

5 November 2018

Saving Water with Chong Family

Over the years, Singapore’s Litres per Capita per Day (LPCD) has improved. With everyone’s efforts, our daily water consumption has dropped to a low of 143 litres per person in 2017. Believing that there is room for Singaporeans to be more water-efficient, we have now set a new target of 130 litres by 2030.

The Chong family is one such household that proactively adopts water conservation habits at home. Led by Mrs Chong, the water heroine in the house, the family diligently practices the five water-saving habits such as taking shorter showers and washing dishes in a container. On top of these, Mrs Chong conscientiously reuses water from washing clothes and dishes for other household chores such as washing the toilet, mopping the floor and watering plants.

Household SaveWater  

Household SaveWater 

The mother of two even goes the extra mile by setting a target for her family to reduce their monthly household water usage.

Indeed, the Chong family’s efforts have seen remarkable results. Over a span of six months, the family has managed to reduce their average household water consumption from 133 litres to 82.5 litres per person per day. 

On her achievements, Mrs Chong feels there is nothing difficult about saving water, just a little effort on everyone’s part to be more conscious about how water is used. “There are lots of ways you can conserve water around the home. Water conservation stickers can even be placed in the bathroom and kitchen to remind everyone to save water. Everyone can make a difference by saving water, little by little, in your everyday lives,” added Mrs Chong.

On the new household water consumption target of 130 litres per person per day, Mrs Chong has this to share, “I believe the new target can be achieved as long as the community is committed to adopt water-saving habits in their daily lives. Together, we can do it!”

Household SaveWater  

By Jerome Goh

31 October 2018

Our Water Heroes: Khairil Anwar Makktom

Water Heroes Khairil 

As the Deputy General Manager of Marina Barrage, Khairil Anwar Makktom has come a long way since joining PUB 12 years ago. He started off as an engineer managing the construction of sewers, water pipes and drainage infrastructure, before being posted to Marina Barrage in 2011 as the engineer in charge of Barrage Operations, overseeing flood control and general safety and security at Marina Barrage.

His daily work focuses on three key areas – the 24/7 flood control function of the Barrage in ensuring the safe and timely flood control operations with a team of shift officers, the rigorous maintenance of flood control equipment with a team of dedicated maintenance officers, and the upkeep of the Marina Reservoir with the maintenance team to ensure it stays clean as a source of water supply and look after the safety of its activity users. Khairil explains that in order to perform these tasks efficiently, very tight coordination and integration with the various teams at Marina Barrage is needed.

Since its inception as Singapore’s fifteenth reservoir, Marina Barrage serves three different roles and functions. Primarily, the Barrage’s function is to provide 24/7 flood control to alleviate flooding in low-lying city areas. By means of its nine identical crest gates and seven giant pumps, the Barrage manages rainfall from its 10,000 ha catchment area to minimise potential flooding. When it rains heavily during low tide, the crest gates can be opened to release excess storm water into the sea. However, when it rains heavily during high tide, the drainage pumps will be activated instead to pump the water out.

Other than serving as a flood control facility, Marina Reservoir at the Barrage also provides a source of water supply, increasing Singapore’s water catchment from half to two-thirds of the island’s land area. Lastly, the strategic waterfront location also makes the Barrage and its reservoir an ideal venue for various recreational activities from kite-flying to water activities such as kayaking, sailing and dragon boating all year round.

On the challenges faced throughout the 7 years in his job, Khairil shares that as the Barrage is a 24/7 operational flood control facility, there is a constant need to be alert and respond timely to weather changes all the time. Being the first reservoir in Singapore’s city centre, it is the most densely populated and urbanised catchment, and hence keeping the reservoir clean is also no mean feat. “We need to constantly remind everyone not to pollute drains, canals and waterways. There are still many who are not aware that any litter thrown on the ground can be washed into our waterways during rain. A drain choked with litter may not only result in flash floods (as the water cannot be drained away fast enough), but can also lead to a reservoir filled with garbage if the litter is not trapped upstream or cleaned up in time. As the Marina Reservoir is a popular water spot for various water and recreational activities, driving home this point is all the more important. “says Khairil

Noting that the Marina Barrage is a popular spot for visitors, Khairil explains that other than technical skills, his team also has to learn how to manage large crowds especially in the weekends, holidays or when there are events. To improve service standards, Khairil and his team has also been leveraging on technology such as deploying more sensors to understand visitor patterns, as well as more CCTVs and higher visibility signages throughout the facility.

The Marina Barrage was officially opened on 31 October 2008, and has welcomed over 16 million people since then. Khairil personally thinks that “many people are drawn to Marina Barrage’s unique combination of educational and recreational features. Marina Barrage is really a showcase of urban water management and environmental sustainability. Besides learning how this mammoth facility help to prevent floods and create a freshwater reservoir for water supply, at the Sustainable Singapore Gallery, they also gain a holistic picture of how Singapore is coping with climate change and developing as an environmentally sustainable city. It is also a great lifestyle attraction, and the green roof is one of the best spots in town to take in our stunning city skyline – all these while having picnics, flying kites or simply relaxing on the green roof.”

By Jaslynn Yeo

31 October 2018

Our Water Heroes: Winnie Tan

Winnie Tan 

Having joined the Marina Barrage team since its opening in 2008, Winnie Tan is no stranger to the events that happen around the barrage. Over the years, Marina Barrage evolved to become a popular lifestyle attraction, drawing crowds of locals and tourists in hordes.

One challenge that her team faced was the need to balance public needs and engineering demands. As a water facility, there was a need to keep the area safe and secure. However, as Marina Barrage was also a lifestyle attraction, this meant that it had to remain accessible to the public too. After several trial and errors, Winnie and her team managed to fine-tune processes on public engagement, and made use of technologies to reduce public inconvenience as much as possible.

Winnie shares that the most fulfilling part of her job is to be able to impart knowledge on Singapore’s water story to the world and create lasting memories for people. One of the most memorable event for Winnie would be hosting high level foreign delegates visiting the Barrage, such as former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon. Winnie also fondly recalls the first National Day Celebrations at the Barrage, and the SG50 performance by the Black Knights that caused a traffic standstill on the roads leading to the Barrage.

As the Senior Manager where she overlooks events, facility maintenance and visitor experience, Winnie has great aspirations for the Marina Barrage. With the launch of the newly revamped Sustainable Singapore Gallery, Winnie believes that it will be one of the many methods to reach out to the next generation on the topic of sustainability, and inculcate a greater appreciation for Singapore’s water ecosystem and infrastructure.

“Through the programmes and events that we have organised, I hope people visiting the Barrage can understand its three benefits – Flood Control, Water Supply and Lifestyle, and more importantly, that they too have a role to play in Singapore’s sustainability story.”

By Jaslynn Yeo