Pearl Forss, Channel NewsAsia 23 Oct 08;
SINGAPORE: After three years of construction, the S$230 million Marina Barrage is ready. It dams up Singapore's river mouth, forming a reservoir - the Marina Reservoir - which has a catchment area that is one-sixth the size of Singapore.
Right now, the reservoir contains mainly sea water. But when the monsoon rains come, the sea water will be flushed out through the gates into the sea, making it a freshwater reservoir.
Marina Reservoir will be operational in less than two years. Pipes are also being constructed to take the water to the treatment plants where it will be purified before being pumped to homes.
The barrage's crest gates also help with flood control.
Yap Kheng Guan, Director in charge of Marina Barrage, PUB, said: "The gates actually block the water from going into the Marina Reservoir. That is very important because at times of high tide and heavy rains, many of the low lying areas will be subject to flooding. By blocking the sea water from coming in, we will be eliminating the tidal influence."
The drainage pumps located under a building are capable of draining an Olympic-sized swimming pool in one minute. They will be activated when there is excess water in the reservoir.
The building also boasts Singapore's largest solar field with 405 panels. The solar field helps reduce daytime lighting requirements by half at the building, which contains visitor galleries and food outlets.
So the next time you want to take a leisurely stroll along the waterfront or find out more about how Singapore manages its precious water resources, you could check out the Marina Barrage, which will be opened on November 1. - CNA/vm