Friday, June 10, 2011

New approach needed for Singapore's big floods

Lediati Tan & Benson Ang in AsiaOne News: It may be too early to blame the recent episodes of flash floods on climate change, but rainfall patterns in the past decade show thunderstorms of increasing intensity, say experts. Said Dr Liong Shie-Yui, an associate professor at the National University of Singapore's civil engineering department: "Our analysis shows that the trend of Singapore's annual rainfall and rainfall intensity have been on the increase in the past decade."

Based on information gathered between 1961 and 1990, and 1999 and 2008, both the average annual rainfall and average maximum daily rainfall (intensity) show significant increases. Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Dr Vivian Balakrishnan also made this point after Sunday's downpour.

All planning norms must be reviewed, he said, to take into account "the very high probability that our weather patterns have changed". He added: "If we are going to expect sudden and intense precipitation, then it is very likely that our drainage systems must be redesigned to cope with such intense pressures."…

A Landsat image of Singapore, from NASA

No comments: