SINGAPORE - The recent rains have caused unwelcome flash floods in Singapore, but the rising water levels were a relief elsewhere - particularly at Singapore's main source of water in Malaysia.
The Linggiu Reservoir in Johor is now 30.8 per cent full, national water agency PUB told The Straits Times on Wednesday (Jan 25).
This is up from the 27.5 per cent a week ago (Jan 18), and a marked improvement from the historic low of 20 per cent recorded last October (2016).
Heavy rain descended on Singapore on Monday and Tuesday, leading to flash floods across the island and causing traffic to slow to a crawl in some areas.
One of the worst-hit areas was Tanjong Pagar, where flooding occurred on Monday along a 30m stretch of Maxwell Road. Another flash flood was reported along a 20m stretch near the junction of Tanjong Pagar Road and Craig Road.
The Meteorological Services Singapore (MSS) said the heavy rain was due to a monsoon surge. Surges are caused by a strengthening of winds over the South China Sea, leading to rain clouds forming over the region.
This was typical for this time of the year, when the region is in the grip of the north-east monsoon, said Assistant Professor Winston Chow, from the National University of Singapore's geography department. But this wet phase of the north-east monsoon season is expected to be followed by a dry phase that could start as early as next month (Feb), traditionally the driest month of the year, he noted.
In 2014, the dry phase of the north-east monsoon season caused the Republic to suffer from its longest ever dry spell, which lasted from mid-January to March.
Since then, the PUB-operated reservoir in Johor has been suffering from depleting water levels.
Weather experts had also warned that the changing climate may cause such dry spells to occur more frequently.
The decreasing water levels have spurred politicians here, including Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli, to urge people to save water.
PUB reiterated the call to save water on Wednesday, saying that while water levels at Linggiu Reservoir have increased due to the rains in the last two days, weather uncertainties remain.
"We all need to continue our efforts to use water wisely and conserve our precious water resources," said a spokesman.