Research Projects in Partnership with CUGE

SDWA aimed to facilitate the translation of the research activities into real world applications. Towards this end, SDWA collaborated with the Centre for Urban Greenery and Ecology (CUGE) to apply the fundamental knowledge gained from scientific investigations in strategies for sustainable solutions in urban freshwater management.

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Plant Selection Study for Application on Bioretention Systems

Singapore is progressively moving towards attaining a higher level of self-sustainability in water resources. Stormwater quantity and quality management are important considerations in water resource management. One of the stormwater treatment elements employed in Singapore is the implementation of bioretention swales or basins.

The plants in a bioretention system are a vital component that not only maintains the hydraulic conductivity of the filtration layer but improves soil capacity for chemical and biological removal of stormwater contaminants. This project focuses on the selection of plants suitable for cultivation in bioretention systems.

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Water Quality Monitoring at Bedok Reservoir Park

In Singapore, parks and other green open spaces are provided to act as green lungs and to meet the recreational needs of an urban population. The regular upkeep of parks require horticultural maintenance activities such as grass-cutting, fertilizer and compost application, and the occasional application of pesticides. It is unknown to what extent such activities may lead to nutrients and other chemicals to be accumulated in run-offs from parks into water catchment areas. Conversely, it is also unknown if green areas in parks may also help to attenuate the accumulation of nutrients and chemicals in runoffs through filtration and biological breakdown in the soil, and if such functions are also fulfilled by green verges along roadsides.

Many parks in Singapore are located inside water catchment areas and proximal to large water bodies. Bedok Reservoir is selected to understand the level of nutrients and chemical runoff that may occur during maintenance activities. In this project, water quality parameters in the surface runoff are correlated with maintenance activities in the park over several rainfall events.

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East Coast Park Pond Rehabilitation Study

While there are around 200 ponds in Singapore, information such as water depth, water balance, external pollutant loads, sediment or substrate type and phytoplankton species composition of these pond systems are lacking. In order to understand the overall quality of pond systems and to find the best management practices to improve the health of pond systems, we have taken ECP pond as  test bed, results of which can be extrapolated to other pond systems in Singapore. The aims of the research are to enhance the water quality of the existing pond system and rehabilitate this water body into an ecological viable habitat that supports aquatic and riparian biodiversity.  This study resulted in the creation of knowledge related to the management of aquatic pond systems that is currently lacking in Southeast Asia.
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