Aquatic Science Centre to open along Ulu Pandan Canal

Aquatic Science Centre to open along Ulu Pandan Canal 

Besides research, centre aims to whet interest of public in water technologies

 

A WATER research laboratory will come up on the banks of the Ulu Pandan Canal in Clementi by the end of next year.

Launched yesterday, the Aquatic Science Centre will carry out studies on urban water management. Its interactive showcase of projects and technologies will be open to the public.

 

Set up by the Singapore-Delft Water Alliance (SDWA), the centre is the first of a network of three such centres which will monitor water quality around the island.

 

The 1,800 sq m Clementi centre will be staffed by some 20 researchers from fields like biology, hydro-engineering and chemistry.

 

The $9 million it will take to build the centre and fund its work will come from the National Research Foundation, National University of Singapore and national water agency PUB.

 

The other two water-research centres will be sited on the Southern Islands and at a reservoir.

 

Director of the SDWA, Professor Vladan Babovic, explained that siting the centres near the Ulu Pandan Canal, the open sea and a reservoir meant that their research would cover the entire water cycle.

 

At the launch yesterday, Environment and Water Resources Minister Yaacob Ibrahim said the centres’ findings will enable urban planners to make Singapore’s waterways both beautiful and functional.

 

The research thus complements the PUB’s massive Active, Beautiful and Clean Waterways project.

 

The minister explained that the challenge in this project lay in transforming the island’s existing waterways into dual-function water sources and recreation areas without compromising on the quality of drinking water they produced.

 

To improve water quality, researchers at the new centre will study how plant and animal organisms use natural systems to minimise pollution.

 

But it is not just about science: The people will also be engaged to play a role in keeping the waterways here healthy, said Dr Yaacob.

 

By being open to the public, it is hoped that the water centre will whet the interest of the public in water technologies and issues.

 

Said Prof Babovic: ‘If, one day, a 10-year-old tells me he wants to be an aquatic scientist, it will make my day.’

 

Source: Straits Times

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