Water Quality Initiatives in Singapore Promote Sustainable Stormwater Management

Singapore is a low-lying country with abundant rainfall, and during the last 30 years, Singapore’s government has spent more than $2 billion to improve stormwater drainage infrastructure. According to Singapore’s Public Utilities Board (PUB), two-thirds of Singapore’s land surface functions as drinking water catchment areas, making it very important to maintain good water quality. One way of doing so is through Active, Beautiful, Clean Waters (ABC Waters) projects that utilize natural elements to slow runoff and provide recreation spaces—the equivalent of green infrastructure in the U.S.

On May 30, the Institution of Engineers–Singapore (IES) and PUB released a Handbook on Managing Urban Runoff. The handbook focuses on design resources for stormwater drainage systems and onsite stormwater-retention solutions.

Launched in 2011, the ABC Waters Professional Programme is a series of training modules covering concept, design, implementation, and maintenance. Once complete, participants can be registered as an ABC Waters Professional. IES, PUB, the Singapore Institute of Architects, and Singapore Institute of Landscape Architects (SILA) also recently launched an ABC Waters Professional Registry, which can serve as a pool of experts for developers.

The handbook and registry release corresponds with the June release of PUB’s Code of Practice on Surface Water Drainage. The code requires developers and owners to engage registered ABC Waters Professionals in the design, construction, and development of a maintenance plan for ABC Waters designs. Read more about ABC Waters.

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