Black & Veatch to study drought resilience, climate change and flood risk mitigation for Singapore PUB

A joint venture between Black & Veatch and Tritech has been awarded the contract to evaluate the feasibility of an Underground Drainage and Reservoir System (UDRS) in Singapore.

Commissioned by national water agency PUB, the study will also involve the development of a first stage conceptual design by the joint venture.

The study will look into the feasibility of constructing an underground stormwater conveyance and storage system to mitigate the impact of climate change and flood risks, and strengthen the overall drought resilience of Singapore’s water supply.

“Highly developed tropical cities like Singapore are often challenged with a combination of too much or too little water. The study will allow us to rethink this scenario and explore a system that would leverage existing technologies in new ways to meet multiple requirements – flood mitigation, storing water for other uses and even generating power by taking advantage of water flows within the system,” said James Currie, Black & Veatch’s Project Director.

Currie added that a major part of the work will involve hydrodynamic modelling to determine the hydraulic characteristics of the system. The team will draw on best practices in hydraulic engineering and drainage management from past project experience on the Western Catchment for its modelling work in this project.

“Clearly, global warming and climate uncertainties are changing mindsets in how governments and water utilities are planning for the future. With today’s challenges, we need to explore alternative thinking and technologies; the UDRS study represents such innovative planning,” said William Yong, Managing Director of Black & Veatch’s water business in Southeast Asia.

It is envisaged that the UDRS will comprise three components: Underground Reservoir Caverns (URC); Stormwater Tunnel System (STS); and Pumped Storage Hydropower (PSH) System. The duration of the study is 24 months.