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Seletar Reservoir, managed by the Public Utilities Board, is located within Singapore's Central Water Catchment area, bound by Mandai Road and Seletar Expressway. Built in 1920, soon after the First World War, it is Singapore's third impounding reservoir to be constructed, possessing an initial capacity of 150 million gallons. It was renamed Upper Seletar Reservoir in 1992 while the Sungei Seletar Reservoir was renamed Lower Seletar Reservoir. It became a marked conservation site in August 1999.
In 1940, the Water Department, which was then in-charge of Singapore's water supply, carried out the expansion of Seletar Reservoir and built pumping stations to transfer water from Seletar to Peirce Reservoir. During World War II, Seletar Reservoir suffered damages during a night bombing raid on Nee Soon Village. However, repairs were swiftly carried out and water supply was restored.
Further expansion works to Seletar Reservoir, involving the construction of a larger dam to impound more water, was carried out from April 1967 to February 1969. This was to meet Singapore's growing population needs, as daily water consumption levels had quadrupled since the reservoir was built. Consequently, at a cost of S$27 million, the capacity of Seletar Reservoir was increased four-fold to more than 5,000 million gallons, making it the largest reservoir then. Measured at top water level, it covers 3.24 sq km and is 17 m deep. On completion of the works, Seletar Reservoir was officially declared open by Her Royal Highness, Princess Alexandra on 10 August 1969, during Singapore's 150th anniversary celebration of her founding.
Water in the reservoir originates from natural run-off from the surrounding catchment areas, as well as that pumped from eight adjacent streams. This water is transferred to Lower Peirce Reservoir and then to the Woodleigh Waterworks for treatment via pipes.
Seletar Reservoir was renamed Upper Seletar Reservoir in 1992. It houses a 15 ha park which offers, apart from scenic views for picnickers, an executive nine-hole golf course which is open to the public, a designated area for sport fishing, a children's playground, jogging tracks and a look-out tower.
In 1986, as part of on-going efforts to boost water supplies, the mouth of Sungei Seletar was dammed to form the Sungei Seletar Reservoir. Bound by Yishun Avenue 1 and Lentor Avenue, it was renamed Lower Seletar Reservoir in 1992 and is one of the last surface water sources to be developed in Singapore. It features a 45 ha park, fishing jetty and a jogging track.
Public Utilities Board. (1969). Souvenir brochure to commemorate the inauguration of Seletar Reservoir, Public Utilities Board. Singapore: Author.
(Call no.: RCLOS 628.13095957 PUB)
Public Utilities Board. (1980). Singapore's water supply. Singapore: Author.
(Call no.: RCLOS 354.595700871 SIN)
Public Utilities Board. (1985). Yesterday & today: The story of public electricity, water and gas supplies in Singapore. Singapore: Times Books International.
(Call no.: RCLOS 363.6095957 YES)
National Archives of Singapore. (n.d.). Upper Seletar Reservoir. Retrieved October 20, 2003, from www.heritagehub.com.sg/visitframe.html
National Archives of Singapore. (n.d.). Water supply in Singapore: Singapore's early water supply. Retrieved November 5, 2001, from www.heritagehub.com.sg/visit%20sites/marked%20historic/HS-UpperSeletarReservoir/HS-UpperSeletarReservoir-1.htm
The information in this article is valid as at 2002 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.