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PUB Singapore to Bolster Rain Forecasting and Flood Management

PUB Singapore X Band Radars for Rain Forecasting and Flood Management

The Public Utilities Board (PUB) is looking to using technology to enhance the forecasting of heavy rain and to better manage floods.

It is going to implement the use of more radar equipment throughout Singapore.

“We are tapping on technology to make sure that our officers can be deployed as quickly as possible in the event of heavy rainfall.”
Yeo Keng Soon, Director of catchment and waterways, Public Utilities Board

The National Water Agency developed a system that uses X-band radar equipment together with a “nowcast” model. This combined use of technology allows for the prediction of movement, growth and the decaying of rainclouds.

X-band radars are also used for localised weather monitoring, air traffic control and maritime vessel navigation.

At the moment, the Meteorological Service Singapore provides PUB with information on rainfall alerts and also predictions on rainfall, half an hour before it occurs.

Three X-band radars, installed in the northern, eastern and western parts of Singapore, are being used at the moment. PUB is looking at increasing it to six radars in the next two years.

The X-band radars are a product of PUB working together with the Hydroinformatics Institute and industrial electronics firm Furuno Singapore, back in 2016, to create a system that can generate information on the quantitative rainfall forecast data.

The radars were implemented in 2018 and ever since there has a production of 30-minute rainfall forecasts with 65 percent accuracy. More X-band radars are to be implemented for getting better coverage.

The radar technology will also be boosted with the integration of machine learning algorithm which is aimed at enhancing the overall accuracy of the system.

Singapore is to expect more constant extreme weather phenomena, as a result of climate change.

Singapore’s actions for addressing climate change issues are a combination of efforts by the various government agencies.

Solar Panels

The Housing & Development Board (HDB) has announced plans for installing more solar panels to HDB flats.

The aim is to develop a solar capacity of producing 540 megawatt-peak (MWp) by 2030, which is on par with powering about 135,000 four-room flats with clean energy, over the next 10 years.

At the moment, HDB has surpassed its target of 220 megawatt-peak (MWp), which is the same as powering 55,000 four-room flats, by 2020.

The new target set for 2030 will be achieved through the installation of solar panels across more HDB blocks. The use of new technologies which allow for more solar energy to be produced from the same amount of space on HDB rooftops.

The new target set also ties in with Singapore’s aim of cutting down on carbon emissions at 324,000 tonnes per year. The government aims to increase its overall solar capacity to at least 2-gigawatt peak (GWp) by 2030, as part of its efforts for fighting climate change.

Converting Plastic Waste Into Useful Chemicals

Scientists from the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) have found a way to convert plastic waste into chemicals of use, with the help of sunlight.

This is the first established process that can fully break down non-biodegradable plastic, such as polyethylene, with visible light and a catalyst that does not contain heavy metals.

This research was led by Assistant Professor Soo Han Sen from NTU who overlooked the research team from the School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences. The team had formed a catalyst that used sunlight to break down the chemical bonds in plastics within a matter of days.

This is an environmentally friendly method of using photochemical reactions to achieve this. Prof Soo said that most other recycling methods involve the use of incineration which generates greenhouse gases as a by-product.

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