Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Marina Barrage: A Reservoir in the Heart of Lion City

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A brainchild of former Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, the Marina Barrage is the first reservoir to be built right in the heart of the city among the other 14 scattered across the country.
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Boasting of 10,000 hectares of an urbanized catchment area, it is almost one-sixth of the size of the country itself!
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The dam/reservoir was built across the Marina channel, and is not just serving the sole purpose of being one of Singapore's water supplies, as the entire area is simply an award-winning masterpiece to promote an eco-friendly system as I continue to share on the amazing attractions discovered during my trip here in April 2011.
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The Marina Barrage, besides being one of the water conservation and supply system for the entire country, also serves its other functions to the environment and even being the latest attraction in the city.
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The Reservoir/Dam
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As mentioned above, this is the 15th reservoir to join the chain of dams in Singapore, although it is the first to be built right smack in the middle of the city.
Strategically located at the mouth of the Marina channel, this is now a freshwater reservoir.
A little bit on the facts of Singapore's water conservation and supply:
There are four ways of water supply provision in the country;
a. Imported water (one of the sources being from Malaysia; her closest neighboring country)
b. Local water catchment areas (stormwater, rain)
c. Desalinated water
d. NEWater - reclaimed and clean water

The above four ways are known as the National Four Taps; and are the pillars of the long term water supply for the country for a long period of time.

The Marina Reservoir alone, can provide at least 10% of Singapore's water needs.

The Marina Barrage
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Going green is the theme applied to the design of this place; and it is evident from their bagging of the Green Mark Platinum Infrastructure Award in 2009.

When I was here, I was in awe at the simple yet unique and environmental friendly architecture, and I was not even the least surprised to find out about the roles played in maintaining and sustaining the environment.
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One of the many functions include rainwater collection; whereby the annual rain supplies the natural water resource which will be collected and processed to be safe for water consumption/usage to meet the demands of the population.
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The many other features in the design of the barrage includes the natural lighting and ventilation, solar panels, water-efficient, power-efficient with the design used in the overall architecture of the place.

The Pump House
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Glass and louvers were used at the external walls; which allow the natural light from the sunlight to shine into the building; thus reducing the need to turn on the switch for lights and air-conditioning.

The Green Roof
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Besides being a spot for family gatherings and friendly recreational activities, one would be amazed to find that recycling and eco-friendly concept is the main backbone of its construction.
The name; Green Roof was also derived from the fact that the grass and soil served as a natural heat insulation for the building; thus reducing the need for air-conditioning and saving the costs to power up the building with electricity.

The washrooms within the building also used water-efficiency concept; through its water taps and also waterless urinals.
The Solar Park is also housed here; and boasts of the largest collection of solar panels throughout the country.

If you are interested in many more features of this place, don't forget to drop by the Sustainable Singapore Gallery on your way in or out to find out more about Singapore's efforts in creating sustainability in the environment through the wide arrays of displays of the works in the country.

One may question the decision to build a reservoir in the city, as it exposes the water to the risks of pollution from the nearby cities and buildings around.
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However, the government is doing their part to ensure that maintenance is constantly being carried out to sustain the usability of the water in the reservoir.

A little yacht docking yard spotted.
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Besides, Sitting in the heart of the city provides the perfect landscape for an urban setting and view of the beautiful skyscrapers in the background
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Singapore has once again proven that modernization and urbanization along with advanced technology can go hand in hand with the environment.
Thumbs up for a major Green project, and definitely one of the eye-openers, if not the GREEN wonders of the world!:)
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For more information on the Marina Barrage, go to their official website here

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