Written Reply to Parliamentary Question on Rising Sea Levels and Weather Patterns by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment
1946. Mr Christopher de Souza: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment (a) whether the recent heat wave and rising temperatures have seen an increase in sea levels; and (b) what measures Singapore has in place to cope with rising sea levels.
1947. Mr Christopher de Souza: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment how is Singapore bracing itself for higher and more volatile temperatures and more unpredictable thundershower patterns.
1 For the first part of Parliamentary Question 1947, on how Singapore is bracing itself for higher and more volatile temperatures, Members should refer to the combined oral replies to Parliamentary Questions 1 through 7 taken on the 2nd of August 2022.
2 Mr Christopher de Souza also asked if Singapore has seen an increase in sea levels, and what Singapore is doing to cope with rising sea levels and more unpredictable thundershower patterns. Mean sea levels around Singapore have risen 10cm in the last four decades, and are projected to rise by up to 1 metre by 2100 based on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report (AR 5) findings. Factoring in a confluence of transient events such as extreme high tides and storm surges, sea levels could go up to as high as 4 to 5 metres.
3 To develop the strategies required to protect Singapore from coastal flooding, the Government is conducting site-specific studies progressively. These studies will examine various coastal adaptation options, such as sea walls, earth mounds and tidal gates. Where feasible, they will be co-located with amenities or recreational space for the community to enhance our living environment and explore the use of hybrid solutions that have nature-based elements. We have already begun site-specific studies for the more vulnerable parts of our coast, such as the City-East Coast area and a stretch of the North-West coast comprising four freshwater reservoirs. The Government has also set up the Coastal and Flood Protection Fund to fund the construction of drainage infrastructure and coastal protection measures, with an initial injection of $5 billion.
4 Beyond coastal protection measures, PUB has also invested almost $2 billion on drainage works over the last decade. Since 2014, all new developments or re-developments of 0.2 hectares or more are required to implement measures such as detention tanks to slow down stormwater runoff from entering the public drainage system, providing more resilience against heavier rainfall events.
5 It is, however, not practical to expand our drains to cater to every extreme rainfall event as it would require massive land take and much higher costs. Hence, it is important to strengthen community resilience, as well as our forecasting and flood resilience capabilities to minimise flood risks and keep the public out of harm's way.
6 PUB is using technology, such as X-band radars and an extensive network of water level sensors and CCTVs installed island-wide, to better predict and respond to floods. Public alerts can be issued earlier, enabling residents in areas at risk of flash floods to take preventive measures such as deploying portable flood barriers early. PUB's Quick Response Team vehicles can also be deployed on site faster to provide timely assistance. PUB also works with LTA, Traffic Police and SCDF to broadcast information to the public using electronic signboards and to divert vehicles and close roads if necessary. Information on floods and road closures are communicated promptly through PUB's social media and Telegram channels, as well as the myENV Mobile App.
7 The Government will plan ahead and ensure our coastal and flood protection measures adapt to the latest developments in climate science. We will also engage communities across Singapore to co-create our strategy to protect our coastlines and ensure that Singapore will remain resilient in the face of climate change, for our present and future generations.