Singapore—Ms Grace Fu, the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, says that the flash floods that took the country by surprise last Saturday (Apr 17), are a symptom of climate change.
The torrential downfall on Saturday raised the water level to more than 90 per cent of the capacity of several canals and drains.
According to the PUB, the country’s national water agency, 161.4 mm of rainfall was recorded in western Singapore from 12.25 pm to 3.25 pm.
“This amount corresponds to 91% of Singapore’s average monthly rainfall in April, and lies within the top 0.5 per cent of maximum daily rainfall records since 1981,” wrote the PUB in a Facebook post.
Ms Fu talked about preparing for the effects of climate change to members of the media on a visit to a worksite for the Deep Tunnel Sewerage System (DTSS) on Monday (Apr 19).
A report in The Straits Times (ST) quotes her as saying, “We are getting a lot more intense rainfall – one of the highest in the last 40 years – and we’re seeing such intense rainfall more frequently. It shows us the importance of planning for climate change and also mitigation.”
She added that S$2 billion has been spent on improving the drainage systems all over Singapore in the past 10 years by the PUB.
At present, there are 37 drainage improvement projects and 10 more will be launched this year, including drainage works in Seletar North Link and Serangoon Avenue 2 and 3, ST reports.
Over the next half-decade, another $1.4 billion has been allotted for this type of projects.
The minister added, “This shows our determination to improve our water infrastructure, increase our climate resilience, and also make us more resilient in a changing world.”
Ms Fu was asked why flash flooding happens in spite of repairs to drainage systems. She answered that weather patterns are changing around the globe as the world has experienced its hottest temperatures in the past few years.
“We have already been witnessing pattern changes, and we expect to see even wetter and drier patterns going forward,” the minister added.
She said the DTSS—Singapore’s superhighway for collecting used water—is an example of long-term planning to deal with climate change, since it “allows us to capture and reclaim the water. If we are able to reclaim more, it makes us more resilient because our water can be reused over and over again.”
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