DBS – Qualifying Examination
Singapore reservoirs: Quantifying water quality through physicochemical, algae, and invertebrate analyses
Speaker: Low E-Wen (Graduate Student, DBS, NUS)
Date: 19 September 2008, Friday
Venue: Seminar Room 3, SR3, Block S2, 02-06
Supervisors: Prof Peter Ng & Dr Tan Heok Hui
Singapore’s water catchments are highly modified, with no natural lake systems. Currently, there are fourteen man-made impounding reservoirs, with another three in construction. Managed by the Public Utilities Board, these reservoirs are a key component in Singapore’s drive to be self sufficient in water supply. Twenty physiochemical parameters, 32 genera of phytoplankton and 5 families of zooplankton have been sampled and tested every month for the past 34 years. A more holistic approach to monitoring is biomonitoring, i.e. using shifts in the community structure and abundance of macroinvertebrates to identify changes in water chemistry that may be missed by monthly point sampling. My project will focus on three areas; i) a comprehensive spatio-temporal analysis of historic physicochemical and biological data collected by PUB over the past 30 years, ii) a field-based investigation of among-reservoir variation in invertebrate communities in relation to water quality, iii) ecotoxicological tests to establish tolerance ranges of invertebrates to selected chemicals in vitro, using taxa commonly found in Singapore.