Kranji reclamation



Kranji is located on the northwestern coast of Singapore. It forms a large part of the Sungei Kadut Planning Area, as earmarked by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).1 Sungei Kadut and Kranji are adjoining industrial estates which became manufacturing centres for the country’s raw timber, wood products, cane and rattan furniture from 1975. Kranji was also where magnetic compasses and other nautical instruments were produced, as its location has the least magnetic interference on the island.2 Two major reclamation works took place at Kranji. The first, from 1965 to January 1970, led to the formation of the Kranji industrial estate.3 The second, implemented for the purpose of establishing the Kranji/Pandan water scheme, started in 1972 and lasted three years.4

Kranji industrial estate

On 16 June 1965, the Singapore Parliament approved the reclamation of a portion of the foreshore of Kranji. The purpose of the reclamation was to provide a suitable site for a sawmill estate. The area spanned approximately 213 acres, large enough for about 37 sawmills. Three families – two Malays and one Chinese – were affected by this reclamation. They were engaged in prawn pond operations and were resettled elsewhere.5 This reclamation is believed to be the first such project recorded by the Land Office.6

Kranji/Pandan water scheme

Reclamation works in conjunction with the Kranji/Pandan water scheme began in 1972. A dam, approximately 975 m long, 17 m high and 21 m wide at its top, was constructed across the mouth of Sungei Kranji to form an impounding reservoir.7 This was intended for the construction of a road that would link Kranji Estate to Lim Chu Kang Road. A spillway channel approximately 53 m in width was also constructed upstream for the discharge of flood waters.8

Fill material for the construction of a dam at the mouth of the river was obtained from quarries along Mandai Road and Bukit Timah Road. Extensive dredging of part of the Sungei Kranji river bed and its left bank near its mouth was carried out. The dredged materials were used to fill up the mangrove swamps in the area.9 The resulting Kranji reservoir and dam had a storage capacity of 15 million cu m of water.10 The project, partly financed by the Asian Development Bank, was completed within three years.11

Effects

The old Sungei Kranji was a tidal river with mangroves growing to the furthest limits of the tidal influence. This mangrove habitat at Kranji had been gazetted as a nature reserve by the British colonial government. It was later de-gazetted as the damming of the river destroyed the tidal and mangrove habitat. However, this resulted in the formation of an extensive freshwater marsh at the flooded edge of the reservoir. The marsh attracts its own distinctive ecological elements, processes and wildlife.12

NEWater at Kranji water reclamation plant
NEWater was officially pumped into Singapore reservoirs, including Kranji, in February 2003.13 This was part of the government’s initiative to create a new source of water supply to ensure its sufficiency for Singaporeans, especially with the expiry of the water agreement with Malaysia in 2011.14 With the introduction of NEWater in July 2002, Singapore was no longer dependent on Malaysia for water. Hence, Singapore was no longer in a vulnerable position in its negotiations with Malaysia regarding the water agreement.15


The Kranji water reclamation plant was one of the essential contributors to Singapore’s water supply in its production of NEWater.16 The increasing demand for NEWater was facilitated by the Public Utilities Board (PUB) through the expansion of its water facility at the Kranji water reclamation plant. It increased its NEWater production from 9 million gallons per day (mgd) to 12 mgd.17 However, in its bid to maintain cost efficiency for its operations, PUB considered selling the NEWater site in Kranji to the private sector in 2006.18

The Singapore Budget 2015 stated the government’s intention to move the country’s water infrastructure underground due to space constraints. Toward this end, the PUB has been conducting a feasibility study for the redevelopment of the Kranji water reclamation plant and the NEWater factory.19



Author

Marsita Omar



References
1. Urban Redevelopment Authority. (1997). Sungei Kadut planning area: Planning report 1997. Singapore: Author, p. 8. (Call no.: RSING 711.4095957 SIN)
2. Krausse, G. H. (n. d.). The urban coast of Singapore: Uses and management. Retrieved 2016, June 8 from Hong Kong Journals Online: http://hkjo.lib.hku.hk/archive/files/7fa97ace3240aaded761d213dc54b717.pdf; Jansen, P. (1979, August 4). More land for wood-based firms in Kranji, Kadut. The Straits Times, p. 17; Compass firm for Kranji. (1981, October 12). The Straits Times, p. 11. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
3. Teo, G. (1993, October 23). How Singapore has grown. The Straits Times, p. 19. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
4. Singapore. Parliament. Parliamentary debates: Official report. (1972, March 7). Reclamation (Sungei Kranji) (Vol. 31). Singapore: [s.n.], cols. 487–489. (Call no.: RSING 328.5957 SIN)
5. Singapore. Parliament. Parliamentary debates: Official report. (1965, June 16). Reclamation at Kranji (Vol. 24). Singapore: [s.n.], cols. 887–888. (Call no.: RSING 328.5957 SIN)
6. Teo, G. (1993, October 23). How Singapore has grown. The Straits Times, p. 19. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
7. Singapore. Parliament. Parliamentary debates: Official report. (1972, March 7). Reclamation (Sungei Kranji) (Vol. 31). Singapore: [s.n.], cols. 487–489. (Call no.: RSING 328.5957 SIN); Kranji dam. (1978, January 5). New Nation, p. 2. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
8. Singapore. Parliament. Parliamentary debates: Official report. (1972, March 7). Reclamation (Sungei Kranji) (Vol. 31). Singapore: [s.n.], cols. 487–489. (Call no.: RSING 328.5957 SIN); ‘Yes’ – for Kranji-Pandan Reservoir Project. (1972, March 9). The Straits Times, p. 4. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
9. Singapore. Parliament. Parliamentary debates: Official report. (1972, March 7). Reclamation (Sungei Kranji) (Vol. 31). Singapore: [s.n.], cols. 487–489. (Call no.: RSING 328.5957 SIN); ‘Yes’ – for Kranji-Pandan Reservoir Project. (1972, March 9). The Straits Times, p. 4. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
10. A view of Kranji dam. (1978, January 3). New Nation, p. 4. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
11. Singapore. Parliament. Parliamentary debates: Official report. (1972, March 7). Reclamation (Sungei Kranji) (Vol. 31). Singapore: [s.n.], cols. 487–489. (Call no.: RSING 328.5957 SIN); $132m water supply projects to be ready this year. (1975, February 9). The Straits Times, p. 6. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
12. Ho, H. C. (n. d.). Kranji bund marshes. Nature Watch. Retrieved 2016, June 10 from National University of Singapore website: http://habitatnews.nus.edu.sg/pub/naturewatch/text/a102a.htm
13. Tan, A. (2003, February 22). Reservoirs getting NEWater from yesterday. The Straits Times, p. 8. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
14. Tang, W. F. (2002, May 23). Reclaimed water for water fabs by next year. The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
15. Dominic, N. (2002, July 30). With Newater will come more fluid bilateral relations. The Straits Times, p. 12. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
16. State of the Environment. (2005). Towards Environmental Sustainability: Chapter 02 – Water. Retrieved from Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources website: https://www.mewr.gov.sg/docs/default-source/default-document-library/grab-our-research/soe-report-2005(chapter-2-water).pdf
17. PUB to expand 3 Newater facilities. (2005, September 16). The Straits Times, p. 7. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
18. Au Yong, J. (2006, July 14). Newater plant in Kranji may be sold to private sector. The Straits Times, p. 11; Chen, H. F. (2006, August 29). PUB may offer private sector contracts worth $550m. The Straits Times, p. 2. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
19. Feng, Z. K. (2015, March 11). Singapore Budget 2015: PUB to study underground spaces for water infrastructure. Retrieved 2016, September 13 from The Straits Times website: http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/environment/singapore-budget-2015-pub-to-study-underground-spaces-for-water-infrastructure





The information in this article is valid is as at 2016 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.

 

Subject
Trade and industry
Commerce and Industry>>Industries
Streets and Places
Reclamation of land--Singapore
Law and government>>National development>>Land use
Architecture and Landscape>>Streets and Places