A national water quality monitoring and prediction service
Singapore is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, and it has a sizeable coastal environment despite its small land area (710 km2). Singapore’s coastal waters are heavily utilised for recreational activities, port and shipping activities, maritime and petroleum industries and fisheries and aquaculture.
The management of water quality in Singapore’s coastal environment is the responsibility of the Singapore National Environmental Agency (NEA) which regulates and monitors pollution to all surface waters and also safeguards recreational beach water quality. In 2011, NUSDeltares launched a Cooperative Research Agreement with NEA to develop an Operational Management System, Neptune OMS, for the coastal waters of Singapore.
Up-to-date information is essential
The key concerns of NEA include maintaining good coastal water quality for recreation and fisheries, (including aquaculture) supporting ecosystem health, and preserving mangroves, seagrass beds and coral reefs. NEA is the lead agency for responding to fish kills, algal blooms or other water quality concerns. It coordinates with the Marine and Port Authority in the event of chemical or oil spills. For all these activities, accurate and up-to-date information on the coastal waters is essential.
Network of eight real-time water quality monitoring buoys
The NUSDeltares’ focus is on developing, implementing and validating a national water quality monitoring and prediction service to help the National Environment Agency Singapore manage Singapore’s coastal waters. This involved developing a monitoring network of eight real-time water quality monitoring buoys strategically deployed around Singapore’s coastline.
These buoys, together with hydrodynamic and water quality modelling with the Delft3D software package, have been integrated in the OMS, which itself is implemented in the Delft-FEWS operational environment. In this way, Neptune OMS provides detailed information on measured water quality data alongside the results of historical and forecasting models.
Optimal management of Singapore coastal water quality
The OMS serves as a complete operational tool for processing, archiving and visualising water quality data, providing updates on current and forecasted water quality trends. NEA Singapore can use this information for the optimal management of the coastal water quality in Singapore.