Marina Barrage: A Nature Themed Reservoir


Marina Barrage is considered to be Singapore’s very first reservoir located in the urban community that has a different touch on the regular nature-themed dam. Mixing the greenery with the city feel, the Marina barrage offers you the height of technological sophistication in the pathways of urban way of living.

Marina Barrage is a government-commissioned dam that is constructed across the mouth of the Marina Channel. This was officially opened on October of 2008, the role is to separate the water in Marina basin from the seawater. This is a milestone in Singapore’s engineering world because of its intensity and magnitude. The barrage is collaborated into a three-in-one project as it plays 3 major roles:

  • Create a new source of water supply
  • Flood control tool
  • Modern day lifestyle attraction


In the year 1987, the government had successfully finished its decade-drive to clean up the Singapore river as well as the KallangRiver. It was that time when the Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew arrived with the genius idea of segregating MarinaBasin to create a huge freshwater lake. Despite of the fact that it is not yet feasible with the existing technology, they did not lose hope to make their dreams materialize. It was only 2004 when the government set the hands in motion by recalling the project once more. The construction began in 2005 with the project being awarded to KOH Brothers and Construction.

Description and Highlights

The Barrage operates with the use of a system of gates and pumps. It comprises of a nine 30 meters wide and five meters high steel gates that embraces the 350 meter wide Marina channel. They also utilize seven drainage pumps that is capable of displacing a combined total of 280 cubic meters of water per second.

Under normal circumstances, the hydraulic gates will be closed. When heavy rain comes, but the tide is not high, the gates will open to dump excess water into the sea. But if and when heavy rain coincides with high tide, the gates will remain closed while the pumps will be activated to pump overflowing water back to the sea.

With this kind of scheme, the barrage eases up flooding in low-lying areas in the urban, including Geylang, Chinatown and Jalan Besar. The reservoir also maintains a constant water level making it beneficial to do water activities such as rowing, dragon boating, sailing and surfing as well.

Visitors to the Marina barrage can take a scenic stroll on MarinaBridge, a pedestrian bridge that hangs on top of the nine crest gates and connects Marina South to Marina East. The VisitorCenter is located at the Marina South end of the bridge. It is design for entertainment to look like a sea shell when you take a view from the top. This two-storey building resides the pumping station, some restaurant outlets and kiosks for refreshments, and the Sustainable Singapore Gallery. The gallery promotes Singapore’s efforts undeniable effort and devotion in achieving the so called environmental sustainability and hopes to educate the public on water conservation and preservation as well.

The Visitor center’s roof is completely covered with green grass and followed by its name, the Green Roof. It serves as a viewing place and a venue for private occasions and sports activities, recreational activities such as picnics and family get together. It also promotes solar power use for it showcases 405 solar panels laid on a 1200 square-meter area.

Who can think of an engineering marvel combined with nature nesting place? This is considered as one of the great innovations and milestone that Singapore has to offer. Come and see the beauty of nature and technology combined.

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