Friday, March 13, 2020

What do you need in conducting Field Studies of Water Quality in Singapore?

Hi Mr. Ko, 

I am a <> student from <>. One of the courses I am enrolled in this semester is focused on aquatic ecosystems, and we were tasked to conduct research in an aquatic system of our choice so that we can apply the things we learn from the course. I came across your blog as I did my research and I find your book on WQM in Singapore really helpful. (Thank you so much for making it available for download.)

My research proposal is to test for fecal coliforms in one unprotected catchment here in Singapore, and I have chosen Bedok reservoir. I have noted from your book though that water quality testing in Singapore reservoirs can be quite a sensitive issue since they are directly tied to national security i.e. water supply, so getting a permit for water quality testing in a reservoir can involve some hassle, and your advise to have rivers as alternative study sites. I will still try to secure a permit to collect sampled from the reservoir,  but I just want to check (as a back up plan), by recommending rivers as an alternative site for study, do you mean that no permit is necessary? I tried to check online but I couldn't confirm it. 

Thank you very much in advance and I hope to hear from you. 

Kind regards, 

Hi Michelle,

Technically speaking, all waterways in Singapore are under the jurisdiction of PUB with the exception of certain water bodies under NParks. Therefore, permission has to be sought for any unauthorised activity in them. However, except for the major waterways and canals e.g. Singapore River, Kallang River, there is no system in place to give you that permission.

I am not sure how extensive your testing is going to be or whether you intend to publish your findings. Hence, if there are no implications from your study that are sensitive or give rise to any publicity, it is probably fine to conduct your own study in a minor waterway.

Good luck