We have an extensive drainage system comprising 7,000km of drains and canals that channel rainwater to our reservoirs or the sea. Most times, our drains are able to cope with the rain that we receive. However, intense bouts of rainfall can sometimes exceed the capacity that the drains are designed for, resulting in flash floods. These floods are localised and generally subside in under an hour.
In recent years, weather and rainfall patterns have become increasingly unpredictable. While our drainage system has served us well for decades, we need to examine our options carefully to see how else we can expand or improve on it to cope with these new challenges.
The Ministry recognises that flash floods can be very disruptive. We have put in place measures to protect human safety as well as work with building and property owners to ensure that their premises have sufficient flood protection to limit the dangers.
The Ministry has made human safety top priority. We have installed railings at more open drains, especially in flood-prone and low-lying areas, among other measures to protect public safety.
On June 30, 2011, the Ministry appointed an Expert Panel on Drainage Design and Flood Protection Measures to conduct an in-depth review of our drainage system, management approach and flood protection measures.
The Ministry and PUB have accepted the panel's recommendations, released in January 2012. The recommendations include implementing a wider range of drainage solutions and improving the flood warning system.
The full report and PUB's response can be found here.
Despite increased urbanisation - which increases the likelihood of flooding, we have greatly reduced flood prone areas.
Through ongoing drainage improvement works, PUB will further reduce flood prone areas to 40 hectares by 2013.
Ensuring there is water for all to live, enjoy, conserve and value.