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Tech to Enhance Singapore’s Coastal Protection

PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency, has launched a Request-for-Proposal (RFP) to seek innovative proposals on the use of emerging technologies, such as machine learning, radar satellite and imagery, as well as crowdsourced data, for the collection and analysis of coastal and inland datasets that will support PUB in the formulation of coastal protection measures.

The announcement was made by the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, at the joint opening of the CleanEnviro Summit Singapore and Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) 2022. Funding for the RFP will come from the S$51 million allocated to PUB by the National Research Foundation in September 2021, under the Competitive Funding for Water Research (CWR) programme. It is part of the Research Innovation and Enterprise (RIE) 2025 Plan.

Since taking on the role of the nation’s coastal protection agency in April 2020, PUB has been making steady progress in charting strategies to safeguard our coastal areas against rising sea levels and extreme rainfall due to the effects of climate change. Following the commencement of site-specific studies for Singapore’s City-East Coast in May 2021 as well as a portion of the north-west coast earlier this month, studies at Jurong Island and the remaining stretch of the north-west coast will start later this year.

PUB is also developing the Coastal-Inland Flood Model – an advanced computational hydrodynamics model that can assess the twin effects of coastal and inland flood risks. The RFP is part of PUB’s longer-term research plans to better understand the effects of waves, currents and ship wakes, to strengthen the development of coastal protection solutions and ensure they are effective, multi-functional, adaptive and sustainable.

The Director of PUB’s Coastal Protection Department stated that coastal Protection planning is a long-term process, and our measures will need to be developed based on robust data and science-based research, taking into account considerations unique to Singapore. Coastal Protection research is also a growing field in Singapore, with many opportunities for collaboration with local and international experts across different domains.

The agency looks forward to receiving innovative proposals from public and private entities, research institutes and institutes of higher learning to expand the breadth and depth of our knowledge base for this important endeavour.

PUB is seeking proposals in the following areas:

  • Focus area 1: Establish proof-of-concept for the feasibility of real-time, remote, and low-maintenance sensors, such as radar and satellite-based sensors, for PUB’s long-term monitoring of Singapore’s wave and current.
  • Focus area 2: Develop an automated framework to quantify ship wake contribution1 in Singapore’s nearshore wave field, including a machine learning methodology to process vessel transiting information and nearshore wave data.
  • Focus area 3: Establish proof-of-concept for the feasibility of using opportunistic CCTV footages, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) with remote sensors and citizen-sourced smartphone images to provide an automated and reliable estimate of the areal extent and depth of inland and coastal flooding.

About Singapore International Water Week

The Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) is a global platform aimed at sharing and co-creating innovative water solutions. SIWW delivers a range of flagship programmes and platforms that brings together the global value chain of water to share the latest in business and technological innovations, as well as policy developments in water.

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