“Urbanization has undoubtedly led to an increase in storm water run-off in Singapore. There is therefore a strong argument for introducing measures to mitigate the effects of such urbanization.”
The twelve-member panel looked at improving Singapore’s drain infrastructure, but decided it would be too expensive and disruptive.
Instead, the panel recommends slowing rainwater runoff at the source on new construction. Older buildings might be retrofitted with these measures. Recommendations include:
- storage tanks – cisterns would catch rain as it runs off roofs
- rain gardens – a shallow depression containing plants designed to catch runoff and pollutants
- roof-top gardens – a garden on the roof of a building, which can be decorative or agricultural
- porous pavements – sidewalks, streets, and parking lots paved with a permeable material
At the same time, some development of infrastructure is recommended, just not citywide. Diversion canals, storage tanks along drains, drain capacity improvements, and flood barriers are being looked at.
In recent decades, more rain has been falling on Singapore with increasing frequency and intensity. With five million people living in Singapore, flood control and prevention is important.
Rooftop garden photo via Shutterstock