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Water from Local Catchment

The 1st National Tap

Singapore has no natural water resources. As it is about 710 km2, the island nation lacks the space to collect and store all the rain that falls on it. Through a network of rivers, canals and drains, rain that falls on two-thirds of Singapore's land area is channelled to our 17 reservoirs.


Two Separate Collection Systems

Singapore has two separate systems to collect rainwater and used water.  

1. Rainwater is collected through a comprehensive network of drains, canals and rivers and channelled to the reservoirs before it is treated for drinking water.

2. Used water is collected in a network of underground sewers that lead to a water reclamation plant. Separate systems ensure that the waterways are free of pollution.


Harnessing Reservoirs and Rivers

Since 2011, the water catchment area has increased from half to two-thirds of Singapore’s land surface with the completion of the Marina, Punggol and Serangoon Reservoirs. In the long run, our water catchment area will increase from two-thirds to 90% of Singapore’s land area. Most of this will be made up of unprotected catchments which are land where development is allowed, for example, for residential, commercial and non-pollutive industrial purposes.

Tracking Water Quality

PUB actively tracks the raw water quality in its reservoirs through sampling and online sensors. Regular water quality tests are conducted on the raw reservoir water.

Major Rivers and Canals Leading to Reservoirs

Marina Reservoir

  • Singapore River
  • Bukit Timah Canal
  • Rochor Canal
  • Geylang River
  • Kallang River
  • Stamford Canal
  • Whampoa River

Serangoon Reservoir

  • Sungei Pinang
  • Sungei Blukar

Kranji Reservoir

  • Sungei Peng Siang
  • Sungei Kangkar
  • Sungei Tengah

Pandan Reservoir

  • Sungei Pandan
  • Sungei Ulu Pandan

Punggol Reservoir

  • Sungei Tongkang

Lower Seletar Reservoir

  • Sungei Seletar
  • Sungei Seletar Simpang Kiri

Jurong Lake

  • Sungei Lanchar
  • Sungei Ulu Pandan
Promoting Water Activities

At PUB, we believe that people who develop a relationship with water tend to treasure water and want to be guardians of it. We have witnessed increasing enthusiasm for watersports among the young and young at heart. Some of the popular water activities include canoeing, kayaking, fishing, radio-control electric boating and dragonboating.

While enjoying water activities, safety is paramount. For example, when canoeing, kayaking and dragonboating, life jackets must be worn at all times. People are also reminded to keep the catchment litter-free. Also, to operate a vessel in the reservoir, a permit is required.

For more information on guidelines of vessel, water activities,fishing, etc, please refer to this list [PDF]. 

Water Quality in our Reservoirs

Minimising pollutants from the catchment is integral to ensuring a thriving reservoir ecosystem. Nutrients from diffuse sources in the catchment (from pet waste, food waste, fertilisers, detergents and sediments, etc.) can have an impact on the ecosystem within the reservoir. When the conditions are favourable, such as warm water and sufficient sunlight, and when nutrients are available, algae may grow rapidly.

Click here to find out more about why algae occurs [PDF].

Pollution Control in Catchment

PUB and NEA work as a team to monitor and control sources of water pollution in our catchment. Through inspections and water quality testing, the team has built up a database which helps them identify potential pollution sources. If an area or a facility is found to be more polluted, recommendations on better housekeeping practices and proper pollution control measures are provided.

During pollution incidents such as oil or chemical spills, the team will move in quickly to contain and remove the pollution. Subsequently, with the help of observations from inspections and water quality data, steps are taken to trace the source and enforcement action may be taken.

Download brochures on how you can play a part in Keeping Our Waters Clean.

Clean-up of Singapore River 

Did you know that Singapore River was once an open sewer? The clean-up of Singapore River was an effort by multi-agency over a period of 10 years. Find out more.

Preserving the Eco-system

It is important to keep local catchment clean as water collected and stored is consumed by the population. To preserve our fragile eco-system, we must not introduce alien animals or aquatic creatures into our local habitat. You may result in doing more harm than good.

The Risk  

By releasing alien species into unfitting habitat, they may compete with our local wild creatures for food, shelter and nesting areas. These foreign species may also prey on the babies of local creatures. If the released animals and aquatic creatures are sick, their virus may spread to local wildlife who do not have immunity against them.  

Fine is Applicable  

The release of animals and aquatic creatures into reservoir parks and reservoirs are prohibited as it may affect the sustainability of ecology. Those caught doing so may be fined. 

Creatures Big and Small -- Living in Our Pockets of Blue Space 

Help us protect our creatures big and small in Singapore. Click here to learn more about the biodiversity of our waterways and reservoirs [PDF].



Non-biting Midges at Reservoirs

Midges are part of the natural ecosystem. They look like mosquitoes but they do not bite or spread diseases. They are harmless but may become a nuisance when in excessive numbers. They thrive in most water bodies such as ponds, canals and reservoirs and are seasonal insects.

Click here to learn about midges, PUB's control measures, FAQs and tips for the public [PDF].