The Straits Times: Punggol waterway wins global award

The Straits Times reported that the My Waterway@Punggol was awarded the top honour at the International Water Association’s (IWA) biennial Project Innovation Awards. This is the first time an Asian project has clinched this award, and this is because of its employment of eco-friendly practices, like reusing excavated earth and using natural and recycled materials for construction.

Punggol waterway wins global award

INSTEAD of taking the simple solution of a pipe to connect Punggol and Serangoon reservoirs, Housing Development Board (HDB) planners carved out an entire river, giving Punggol residents a lush riverine upgrade. And the accolades continue to flow in.

My Waterway@Punggol has clinched the top honour at the International Water Association’s (IWA) biennial Project Innovation Awards, the first Asian project ever to do so.

The project was also honoured in April by the American Academy of Environmental Engineers, another first for Asia.

The 4.2km man-made river, which opened last October, meanders through Punggol Eco-Town.

Planners took an ecological approach, determined to minimise environmental impact. Excavated earth was reused, boardwalks were built with recycled materials and special gravel drains were installed to filter and clean surface water before it enters the river.

Dr Gertjan Medema, chief science officer at the KWR Watercycle Research Institute in The Netherlands, was a judge. He praised the project for encompassing practical and human considerations, and commended the HDB for “taking a step back and looking at the whole picture of what they were trying to achieve”.

“Nobody would have appreciated a pipe underground,” he said.

Mr Paul Reiter, executive director of the IWA, said that inventive thinking was a treat to behold.

“It is sensible. It is just thinking,” he said. “The No. 1 ingredient is having a picture of what is possible.”

HDB’s deputy chief executive officer for building, Mr Sng Cheng Keh, affirmed the board’s commitment to sustainably building “rich, vibrant and unique” towns.

It plans to make existing towns more environmentally friendly, starting with a pilot project in Jurong East to introduce water- and energy-saving facilities. The nationwide programme, termed Greenprint, was announced in March.

“Under Greenprint, HDB will introduce the concept of green and sustainable lifestyles to other towns beyond Punggol,” said Mr Sng.

Image from E21_ss1

One Response to “The Straits Times: Punggol waterway wins global award”
  1. terrace says:

    nice shot. I like it!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  • About Green Drinks Singapore

    Founded in November 2007, Green Drinks Singapore is one of more than 800 cities with a Green Drinks presence.

  • We are a non-profit environmental movement that connects academia, green businesses, activists, community and government, for knowledge sharing and collaboration opportunities. We do this by organising informal talks every last Thursday of the month, over drinks! Once in a while, we hold discussions, documentary screenings and workshops to further engage the public and participants.
  • Started in 1989 in London, the Green Drinks movement is a self-organising network that is meant to be simple and unstructured. The global site can be found at
%d bloggers like this: