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New design guidelines set the stage for improved living environments and cleaner waterways nation-wide. 

Imagine a city of green integrated with blue; beautiful landscaping and clean water filled with aquatic life flowing at every turn of the corner. This is the vision of the Active, Beautiful, Clean (ABC) Waters programme, launched in 2006 by PUB, the national water agency. It aims to transform Singapore’s vast network of drains, canals and reservoirs into beautiful streams rivers and lakes. The key thrust of the programme is to encourage Singaporeans to get closer to water and to cherish this precious resource. 

The ABC Waters programme has seen good progress since its launch three years ago, with the completion of three demonstration projects at Kolam Ayer, Bedok Reservoir and MacRitchie Reservoir. Singaporeans can look forward to another 20 ABC projects island-wide in the next three years. These include the Sengkang Floating Wetland at Sungei Punggol and a Family and Rower's Bay at Lower Seletar Reservoir.

To make the programme even more pervasive, PUB today introduced the ABC Waters Design Guidelines, a handbook for industry professionals to incorporate ABC design features into their developments.

Launched by Senior Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment and Water Resources, Dr Amy Khor this morning in conjunction with Singapore International Water Week 2009, the ABC Waters Design Guidelines aim to create a sustainable and more livable city through the treatment of stormwater (rainwater) closer to source as well as beautifying urban spaces and creating new community focal points and greater urban bio-diversity.

Half of Singapore’s land area is already water catchment and by 2011, this will be increased to two-thirds of the nation’s land area. Stormwater collection and treatment on every possible surface that rain falls on will hence be even more important.

"Singapore’s transformation into a city of gardens and waters will soon become a reality as the public and private sectors join us in integrating urban planning with the protection and management of our water resources and environment. The ABC Waters Design Guidelines is meant to be a ‘living’ document that provides general guiding principles. We invite developers, professionals, contractors and institutions to share their feedback with us so that this book can be enhanced to become a rich and useful reference for all," said Mr Tan Nguan Sen, PUB’s Director of Catchment and Waterways.

The features of the design guidelines include using natural treatment elements such as rain gardens, cleansing biotopes, green roofs and constructed wetlands to capture and treat rainfall. The result would be cleaner water that flows into our water bodies. These design guidelines will equip the industry with the capabilities to implement these features in their developments and can be applied to urban scapes, architectural structures, open plazas as well as roads and pedestrian walkways.

PUB has also carried out test beds of some of the design features in areas such as Seng Kang West Way, Balam Estate and Sungei Seletar. The successful implementation of the ABC Design features in these areas have been included in the ABC Waters Design Guidelines as case studies to encourage and illustrate to developers how such features can be successfully implemented in various developments.

"The ABC Waters Design Guidelines highlight the unique tools available to the private sector to participate in Singapore’s vision as a water‐wise ecological city of the future.

Through a framework combines holistic storm‐water management with aesthetic consideration and lifestyle aspirations, a new model of urbanism emerges that would enrich both the private and public domain," said Mr Herbert Dreiseitl, Landscape architect and Founder of Atelier Dreiseitl.


About PUB 

PUB is a statutory board under the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources. It is the water agency that manages Singapore’s water supply, water catchment and sewerage in an integrated way. PUB won the 2007 Stockholm Industry Water Award and was named Water Agency of the Year at the Global Water Awards 2006. 
About PUB’s tagline: Water for All: Conserve, Value, Enjoy   

PUB has ensured a diversified and sustainable supply of water for Singapore with the Four National Taps (local catchment water, imported water, NEWater, desalinated water).

To provide water for all, PUB calls on all Singaporeans to play our part to conserve water, keep our water catchments and waterways clean and build a relationship with water so we can enjoy our water resources. We can then have enough water for all uses – for industry, for living, for life.


25 June 2009

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