Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Lower Peirce Reservoir

Description

The Lower Peirce Reservoir, formerly known as the Kallang River Reservoir, is Singapore's second reservoir, which was planned as an extension of the first reservoir (MacRitchie Reservoir) to meet the increasing demand for supply of water in Singapore. The Municipal Commission proposed its construction in July 1902, afterwhich the Westminster Construction Company of London was awarded the contract in March 1907. The reservoir, which costed 967,641 Straits dollars, was completed in 1910 by damming the upper reaches of the Kallang River. It was officially opened on 26 March 1912. Ten years later, the reservoir was renamed as Peirce Reservoir, in recognition of Robert Peirce who was the Municipal Engineer of Singapore from 1901 to 1916. The reservoir only got its current name in 1975, after the Upper Peirce Reservoir was built.

Running through the forest and along the edge of this reservoir is a 900-m boardwalk called the Lower Peirce Trail. Visitors who use the scenic trail are greeted with captivating views of regenerating secondary forests lining the lake as well as a variety of flora and fauna.

One can find majestic trees over 100 years old in the forest. Some other interesting plants that one could spot here include pitcher plants (Nepenthes spp.) and the Nibong Palm (Oncosperma tigillaria). The common wildlife that resides in this reservoir include Long-tailed Macaques(Macaca fascicularis), Oriental Whip Snakes (Ahaetulla prasina) and the occasional White-bellied Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) flying above the lake. Freshwater species such as Snakeheads (Channa spp.) can also found in the waters of the reservoir.

Though rich in biodiversity, the reservoir has also sufferred from the introduction of alien water weeds, particularly the invasive water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) which covered the water surfaces of some reservoirs at its peak in the 1970s. The water hyacinth is still found in this reservoir.

The reservoir was not always protected from development. A 120-ha plot of land in the reservoir was once proposed to be made into a golf course in 1992. However, under great objection from the public, the proposal was dropped. Now, being part of the Central Catchment Nature Reserve, the catchment is protected, thus development of the area is prohibited and the forests are left in their natural state. This also minimises the possibility of pollution and ensures the quality of the water in the catchment. The reservoir is also a designated bird sanctuary under the Wild Animals and Birds (Bird Sanctuary) Order (S. 216/70). Under the Parks and Trees Act 2005, visitors are required to follow certain conduct in order to conserve the nature in the reserves.

Getting there

Situated off Upper Thomson Road, the Lower Peirce Reservoir can be reached via bus services 163, 167, 169, 855, and 980. The closest train station is Ang Mo Kio, from which one can take a bus (services 165 or 169) to reach the reservoir.

Other Resources

National Parks Board. Lower Peirce Reservoir Park. http://www.nparks.gov.sg/cms/index.php?option=com_visitorsguide&task=naturereserves&id=50&Itemid=75. (Accessed December 2011).

Tan, R. Lower Peirce Trail. http://www.wildsingapore.com/places/lpt.htm. (Accessed December 2011).

References

Francesch-Huidobro, M., 2008. Governance, Politics and the Environment: A Singapore Study. ISEA, Singapore. 395 pp.

Quek, B. S., H. H. Ng, H. T. W. Tan & P. K. L. Ng, 2011. The History of Singapore's Reservoirs. Pp. 59-61. In: Ng, P. K. L., R. T. Corlett & H. T. W. Tan (editors), Singapore Biodiversity. An Encyclopedia of the Natural Environment and Sustainable Development, Editions Didier Millet, Singapore, 552 pp.

Wee, Y. C. (ed.) (1992). Proposed golf course at Lower Peirce Reservoir - An environmental impact assessment. Nature Society (Singapore).  80 pp.

Wee, Y.C. & R. Hale, 2008. The Nature Society (Singapore) and the struggle to conserve Singapore’s nature areas. Nature in Singapore 1: 41-49.

Yeo, D. C. J., L. K. Wang & K. K. P. Lim, 2010. Private Lives: an Exposé of Singapore's Freshwaters, Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, National University of Singapore, Singapore, 240 pp.

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