Kallang River, set for rejuvenation, has been supplying water to S’pore for 105 years

When you drink water, think of its source.

Henedick Chng | March 30, 2017 @ 04:25 pm

The Kallang River, which is set to be rejuvenated with plans announced on Mar. 29, is Singapore’s longest natural river, stretching from around the Ang Mo Kio area at the centre of Singapore to Marina Bay in the southeast.

Perhaps unknown to most, the Kallang River has been supplying Singaporeans with water for around 105 years.

A reservoir at its origin

The origin of the river is none other than Lower Peirce Reservoir, which is the second oldest reservoir in Singapore (MacRitchie Reservoir is the oldest).

Known originally as the Kalang (as Kallang was known back then) River Reservoir, it was built in 1910 and officially opened on Mar. 26, 1912. The name was later shortened to Kalang Reservoir.

Official opening of Kalang Reservoir on March 26, 1912. Source: NAS


Here’s a map of Singapore in 1916 that shows Kalang Reservoir and Kalang River:


Source: NAS


The reservoir was created by the building of an embankment across the valley of Kallang River, and the project was carried out because of forecasted water shortage in the early 1900s.

When completed, it was the largest reservoir in Singapore.


Source: NAS

In 1922, Kalang Reservoir was renamed Peirce Reservoir in honour of Robert Peirce – the British municipal engineer of colonial Singapore who oversaw the reservoir’s creation.


Source: NAS


In the 1970s, as Singapore’s need for water grew as a result of an expanding population, the Public Utilities Board created a new reservoir to the west of Pierce Reservoir. The newer and larger reservoir, was named Upper Peirce Reservoir, while the older reservoir became known as Lower Peirce Reservoir.


Source: Google Map


Here’s a view of Lower Peirce Reservoir in the present day:


Source: Flickr – Photo by Zhang Wenjie


When you drink water, think of its source.

Since you are here, why not read these too?

3 lowkey romantic gifts that scream, ‘This is how I use public transport to pick you up’
S’poreans are generally helpful but sometimes too paiseh to help in everyday situations


Top image from NAS.

If you like what you read, follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get the latest updates.

About Henedick Chng

Henedick loves food. He is always hungry. In between his eating binges, he cooks and is just another food blogger who anyhow shares his recipes and dining adventures with the world.

Morning Commute

Interesting stories to discuss with your colleagues in office later