Among the many options given by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to deal with rising sea ranges throughout his 2019 Nationwide Day Rally was one which concerned reclaiming a collection of islands offshore from Marina East to Changi, connecting them up with barrages and making a reservoir, much like Marina Reservoir.
Singapore has additionally already put in place some measures, together with using polders, that are tracts of land that lie under sea degree and are reclaimed by the constructing of dykes, drainage canals and pumping stations.
There’s an ongoing polder challenge on Pulau Tekong, led by the Housing and Growth Board, that’s greater than midway full and set to complete by the tip of 2024.
Minister for Nationwide Growth Desmond Lee stated final month that the challenge, the primary of its type for Singapore, will assist the nation to achieve expertise in growing polders, which “might be an possibility for coastal safety and resilience towards sea-level rise”.
There are additionally plans to construct infrastructure greater above the ocean degree. Professor Benjamin Horton, the director on the Earth Observatory of Singapore on the Nanyang Technological College, stated that Changi Airport, for instance, is constructing Terminal 5 at 5.5m above current sea degree to guard towards future rising sea ranges.
“We are able to additional take into consideration engineering advances that may allow buildings to drift,” he added.
PUB’s coastal safety division can also be different attainable options, with senior assistant director Sarah Hiong reiterating that it’s “vital to check all choices, even long-term ones, comprehensively”.
Listed here are another alternate options being studied by Singapore:
SEA WALLS AND ROCK REVETMENTS
Each are laborious buildings that shield towards coastal erosion. At current, PUB says they line about 70 per cent of Singapore’s coastlines.
“Constructing sea partitions across the complete Singapore is a straightforward and direct however not a completely possible resolution, as a result of we even have to contemplate the interactions between the land and sea,” stated senior engineer Eugene Lim from PUB’s coastal safety crew.
For instance, this might embrace pure coastal habitats, recreation and industries that require waterfront entry.
“It’ll additionally not be aesthetically pleasing for the general public too. Strive imagining having an awesome wall constructed across the complete shoreline of Singapore,” he added.
NATURE-BASED HYBRID SOLUTIONS
Mr Lim stated PUB intends to discover hybrid options, which mix engineering options with nature-based parts, together with the planting of mangroves, seagrasses or vegetation.
A advantage of this selection, stated Mr Lim, is that it supplies a chance for Singapore to create habitats to reinforce biodiversity.
Nevertheless, it won’t be attainable to rely fully on nature-based parts.
Taking mangroves for instance, Affiliate Professor Koh Tieh Yong, a climate and local weather scientist from the College of Science and Know-how at Singapore College of Social Sciences (SUSS), stated that when sea degree rises, the upper seawater will nonetheless infiltrate mangrove lands.
“Throughout a storm, mangrove tree roots serve to interrupt up the waves and maintain down the earth, thus lowering coastal erosion. On this manner, mangroves can shield areas additional inland till the ocean rises past a degree the place even mangroves can not thrive.”
Thus, there’ll nonetheless be a have to pair it with man-made buildings like sea partitions as the primary resolution to sea degree rise, he stated.
One other draw back is that almost all of Singapore’s coastal land is required for residences, industries, maritime port, airport or leisure seashores and so can’t be changed by mangroves.
MULTIFUNCTIONAL COASTAL DEFENCES
Attributable to Singapore’s land shortage, multifunctional buildings corresponding to Marina Barrage, could be an excellent resolution, stated Mr Lim.
The barrage not solely supplies a supply of water provide, it acts as flood management and even a venue for recreation — a “scorching spot for households” to have picnics, fly kites and spend high quality time collectively, he stated.
One abroad instance that protects towards sea degree rise which Ms Hiong highlighted is the Katwijk underground parking storage within the Netherlands, the place a lot of the nation is under sea degree.
Designed by the Royal institute of Dutch Architects, it was the winner of the Finest Dutch Constructing of the Yr in 2016.
Located beside a well-liked seashore, the challenge is a parking lot that isn’t solely in a position to home 650 vehicles, but additionally performs a crucial position as a dyke to guard the small, eponymous city towards future floods.
What’s attention-grabbing concerning the challenge, stated Ms Hiong, is that “you may’t even inform that it is really a coastal safety measure” as a result of it’s hid inside a sand dune in order that it blends in with the beachfront.
“So that is an instance that actually impressed us… to construct one thing that not solely has such an vital use for the nation, but additionally one thing that the general public will really come to take pleasure in,” she stated.