Monday, April 23, 2007

The Dutch connection

Singapore is really visionary when it comes to the management of its water resources.

Its Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew reportedly said that Singapore is tapping Dutch expertise in building dykes to help prevent the island from being submerged due to rising sea levels 50 to 100 years from now.

"We start learning now, because by the time the waters have risen (and) we want to start learning, that is too late," The Straits Times quoted Kuan Yew as saying today.

"So we have already got in touch with the Dutch, who know how to make dykes," Kuan Yew said on Sunday during talks with 400 young people.

The Dutch are experts in building dykes and are inolved in Singapore's Marina Barrage project -- a clever idea by Kuan Yew to turn Marina Bay and Singapore River into a fresh-water reservoir. The barrage also acts as a flood-control mechanism.

Maybe the Dutch should also take a look at the causeway (pix taken from Both Sides of the Johor Straits) linking Singapore and the southern Malaysian city of Johor Baru. The land-based causeway has been blocking the natural flow of water in the Straits of Johor separating the two countries since it was built by the British more than 80 years ago.

Will the causeway help prevent or exacerbate rising waters surrounding Singapore in the next 50 to 100 years?


Sailor said...

The Causeway does not completely block the straits. At the Johore end there used to be (I'm not sure if it still exists)a short bridge linking the Causeway to the town. Smaller boats used to be able to float under it. If it is still there, then water will flow to its natural level. Also if sea levels rise, parts of JB town will be submerged, allowing the water to find its natural level in the straits anyway. (Of course the sultan will blame the US/China/English for that).

Sophie said...

sailor, i think the causeway chokes the straits of johor completely. water cannot flow from one end of the straits to another, let alone small boats.

the causeway is different from the second link -- an overhead bridge linking johor and tuas in singapore. small boats can sail under the second link.

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