Western Water Catchment

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Western Water Catchment
Other transcription(s)
 • Chinese西部集水区
 • PinyinXībù jíshuǐqū
 • MalayKawasan Tadahan Air Barat
 • Tamilமேற்கத்திய நீர் நீர்ப்பிடிப்பு
Pasir Laba Camp Overall 01.jpg
US Navy 111219-M-OO345-001 Marines and Sailors assigned to the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (11th MEU) participate in a live-fire exercise.jpg
From top to bottom: An overview of Pasir Laba Camp, soldiers at the Murai Urban Training Facility
Western Water Catchment Area
Western Water Catchment Area
Western Water Catchment is located in Singapore
Western Water Catchment
Western Water Catchment
Location in Singapore
Coordinates: 1°23′13″N 103°41′31″E / 1.387°N 103.692°E / 1.387; 103.692Coordinates: 1°23′13″N 103°41′31″E / 1.387°N 103.692°E / 1.387; 103.692
Country Singapore
RegionWest Region
Town councils
  • Chua Chu Kang Town Council
 • MayorSouth West CDC
 • Members of ParliamentChua Chu Kang GRC
  • Yee Chia Hsing
 • Total69.5 km2 (26.8 sq mi)
Area rank1st
 • Total720
 • Rank38th
 • Density10/km2 (27/sq mi)
 • Density rank41st
Postal district

The Western Water Catchment is a planning area located in the West Region of Singapore. The planning area borders Tuas and Pioneer to its south, Sungei Kadut, Choa Chu Kang and Tengah to its east, Jurong West to its southeast, Lim Chu Kang to its north and the Straits of Johor to its west.

The area currently houses four reservoirs, Tengeh Reservoir, Poyan Reservoir, Murai Reservoir and Sarimbun Reservoir. The Western Water Catchment is also a live-firing area in which it is used by the Singapore Armed Forces for training purposes. It is also a restricted area in which it is out of bounds to all members in the public except for military personnel from Pasir Laba Camp (South) and Sungei Gedong Camp (North).

The SAFTI Live Firing Area commenced operations in 1968 and was revamped in 2008, the eastern part began operations in 2002 and has been extended to Lim Chu Kang Tracks 11 and 13, but it has been remained unnamed, and it could be named 'Murai North'.

In the Draft Master Plan 2019, plans call for the new "Coastal Road" from Jalan Ahmad Ibrahim to Lim Chu Kang Lane 6, replacing Lim Chu Kang Road. The Lim Chu Kang Road between Neo Tiew Road and Old Choa Chu Kang Road will be removed and given for the expanded Tengah Airbase.[3]


There are 15 districts in Western Water Catchment.

  • Bahtera
  • Lorong Danau
  • Murai
  • Murai North
  • Nanyang Bridge
  • Nanyang Crescent
  • Nanyang Gateway
  • Pasir Laba
  • Peng Kang Hill
  • Poyan
  • SAFTI City
  • Sarimbun
  • Sungei Gedong
  • Thousand Oaks
  • Wrexham


There is only one university in the Western Water Catchment which is Nanyang Technological University and National Institute of Education.

Camps and bases[edit]

There are three army camps in the Western Water Catchment. These include Pasir Laba Camp, Chua Chu Kang Camp at Lorong Danau and Sungei Gedong Camp. Additionally, there are various army firing ranges in the Western Water Catchment - Multi-Mission Range Complex, MATADOR Range, M203 Range, several SAFTI ranges and Poyan 300m Range. In Murai area, there are Murai Urban Live Firing Facility (MULFAC), Murai Urban Training Facility (MUTF) and MEXCON.

Pasir Laba Camp is accessible by Pasir Laba Road, whereas Sungei Gedong Camp is accessible through Sungei Gedong Road, Sarimbun Avenue and Jalan Bahtera. The live firing area boundary is bounded by Straits of Johor, Tengeh Reservoir (River), the intersection of Raffles Golf Course, Peng Kang Hill/Pasir Laba Camp, PIE, Nanyang Drive, Nanyang Crescent, Nanyang Avenue, Jalan Bahar, the imaginary boundary, Old Choa Chu Kang Road, National Shooting Centre boundary, the imaginary boundary with the Murai Urban Training Facility, Jalan Murai, Lim Chu Kang Road, and Bahtera Track.


The SAFTI Live Firing Area was drawn out in 1967 and marked all around there are 504 warning signs in the vicinity (these indicate "Danger Live Firing Area-KEEP CLEAR"). Before the drawing-up and gazetting of the live-firing zone, most residents and occupants living within the affected boundaries were shifted to Boon Lay as its pioneer residents and factories there were relocated to the Jurong Industrial Area, leaving only a few villages behind (all were gone by the early 1990s). On 14 July 1968, four villagers died and nine others were injured in the live-firing area (near Kampong Berih, one of many rural villages in the area) and seven other villagers snuck into Pasir Laba (on the coastline of the Johor Straits) by sampans to pick durians and rambutans from the many fruit trees in the forest there. These villagers were injured by mortar rounds in their attempt to collect fruits.[4] There are many cases of trespassers in the live firing area.[5][6]

Numerous military sentries are posted at 11 entrance points at Pasir Laba Camp to keep out trespassers. In addition, all other roads leading into the area, such as those in the rural Lim Chu Kang area, are gated and show warning signs, preventing unauthorised vehicles from entering. In September 2008, Training Resource Management Centre (TRMC) officers have standardised the live-firing area signs in all four official languages of Singapore (namely English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil) with an image of a soldier pointing a rifle at a trespasser, but in the later part of 2014, TRMC added "Do Not Go Beyond This Line Without Authorisation - Live Firing in Progress" on the sign. Keeping out trespassers into the live-firing area have been discussed in Pasir Laba Camp's annual general meetings. In 2017, the signs were changed to "Do Not Go Beyond This Point. Live Firing Area - KEEP CLEAR!" by Training Resource Management Centre, and the previously-used warning image was altered to show the widely-recognised skull-and-crossbones deadly-hazard symbol. These new signboards can be widely found near NTU's western edges, Old Choa Chu Kang Road, Jalan Murai and Lim Chu Kang Road.[7] However, these measures are only partially effective, and there are still many who enter the restricted military-training grounds, especially for the purpose of picking wild fruits such as durians.


As of 2017, this water catchment has a total of 4 reservoirs.

Tengeh Reservoir[edit]

Tengeh Reservoir
LocationWestern Water Catchment
Coordinates1°20′45″N 103°38′50″E / 1.34583°N 103.64722°E / 1.34583; 103.64722
Basin countriesSingapore

Tengeh Reservoir (Chinese: 登格蓄水池) was formerly a river, Sungei Tengeh, which emptied into the Straits of Johor and was dammed to become a reservoir in the early 1980s (which is part of 'Western Water Catchment Scheme'). It is located at Wrexham and Bajau districts. Construction of the reservoir began on 11 March 1977.[8]

Tengeh Reservoir is part of the SAFTI Live Firing Area (South) and has restricted access since 19 January 1992,[9] where possible there are two bridges at the ends of the vicinity. One is for road at the western end called "Wrexham Bridge", which is just a road bridge which connects Jalan Ahmad Ibrahim and Wrexham Drive, next to Tuas Checkpoint and one is for walking at the eastern end next to Pasir Laba Road and Tengeh Pumping Station. The western end of Pasir Laba Road is also located at the Elephant West Hill, where it becomes Wrexham Drive straightaway. The Chinese name of the reservoir sounds similar to the English one.

On 11 April 1991, there was a naked body of a woman floating in the reservoir.[10]

The southern side of Tengeh Reservoir is the Raffles Country Club, and the golf areas can see the reservoir clearly. The Raffles Country Club construction began on 29 October 1987. The government of Singapore has made the second large acquisition of land for the project by requiring Raffles Country Club to vacate its plot as the site offers the "most suitable location" to run the HSR tracks after the bridge crossing and to place the tunnel portal leading to the underground tunnels that would take the HSR to the Jurong East terminus. The site has to be vacated by July 31, 2018, to be used for HSR crossover tracks and a siding facility to temporarily house a train near the border for safety or operational reasons.[11]

On 3 November 2011, Public Utilities Board (PUB) and Economic Development Board (EDB), had decided to install floating solar panel at Tengeh Reservoir, which is part of S$11 million project. This is the first solar panel to be at the reservoir/river, and Western Water Catchment (Located at Wrexham Village).[12]

Poyan Reservoir[edit]

Poyan Reservoir
LocationWestern Water Catchment
Coordinates1°22′37″N 103°39′50″E / 1.37694°N 103.66389°E / 1.37694; 103.66389
Basin countriesSingapore

Poyan Reservoir (Chinese: 波扬蓄水池; Malay: Tadahan Air Poyan) was previously part of the river Sungei Poyan and its delta, which was dammed to become a reservoir. Sungei Poyan emptied into the Straits of Johor. It is located in SAFTI City, Poyan and Bajau districts. Construction of the reservoir began in 11 March 1977.[8]

On 27 April 1984, two men were fined for trespassing into the live firing area.[13] On 14 February 1991, two men were fined $1,000 for fishing in a live firing area off Pasir Laba Road. On 17 August 1991, two RSAF pilots were killed at Poyan Reservoir.

It is part of SAFTI Live Firing Area (South), which has restricted access.[9] There are two restricted access gates at the end of Old Choa Chu Kang Road for connection to either end of Poyan Reservoir, as the road is quite narrow (is only accessible to pedestrians, bicycles and all military vehicles), together with the Lorong Danau (between Chua Chu Kang Camp and Jalan Sungei Poyan). Access to the reservoir was restricted since December 1999. At the end of Old Choa Chu Kang Road, there are several shared bicycles (Ofo and Obike) being parked from the bus stop to the narrow road.[14] The future training outfield, SAFTI City (formerly Poyan Court) will also be located there. It will feature housing blocks, condominiums, shopping centres, entertainment arcade and transportation hub (bus station and MRT station).[15]

At the reservoir, only the Mobility 3rd Generation raft is deployed to load and unload military vehicles when crossing from the western side to the eastern side.

Murai Reservoir[edit]

Murai Reservoir
LocationWestern Water Catchment
Coordinates1°24′00″N 103°40′25″E / 1.40000°N 103.67361°E / 1.40000; 103.67361
Basin countriesSingapore

Murai Reservoir (Chinese: 慕莱蓄水池; pinyin: Mù lái xù shuǐ chí) was formerly Sungei Murai, which was dammed in early 1980s, to create a reservoir. It is located in Murai, Murai North and Thousand Oaks districts. Construction work had begun on November 1977.[8]

It is part of SAFTI Live Firing Area (North), of which is restricted to only from the TRMC Operations Room.[9] The Murai Urban Training Facility is east of Murai Reservoir, which can be accessed through Jalan Murai from Lim Chu Kang Road, together with the Murai Urban Live Firing Facility (MULFF).[16]

There is also a road east of Murai Urban Training Facility which goes from Lim Chu Kang Road to Jalan Murai, called Murai Farmway. Only Murai Farmway and part of Jalan Murai is opened to the public. Access to the area and the reservoir has been restricted since October 1999. Murai North has four dirt roads named (with Lim Chu Kang Tracks 11 & 13).

Sarimbun Reservoir[edit]

Sarimbun Reservoir
LocationWestern Water Catchment
Coordinates1°25′35″N 103°41′00″E / 1.42639°N 103.68333°E / 1.42639; 103.68333
Basin countriesSingapore

Sarimbun Reservoir (Chinese: 莎琳汶蓄水池) was constructed by damming Sungei Sarimbun and widening of Sungei Karang, Sungei Hantu, and Sungei Sarimbun.[17] It is located in Sarimbun, Sungei Gedong, Bahtera and Kapal districts. Construction work began in November 1977.[8]

It is part of SAFTI Live Firing Area in the north, which has restricted access since 19 January 1992 and only accessible through the TRMC Operations Room.[9] The public can cut through from Bahtera Track to enter Sarimbun Reservoir area.

Sarimbun was where General Tomoyuki Yamashita landed his troops during World War II, and was engaged in the Battle of Sarimbun Beach. Sarimbun is also home to many small vegetable and fruit farms and health farms. These farms are normally owned by local entrepreneurs. Sarimbun also hosts multiple permanent campsites, especially on Jalan Bahtera. These campsites include the Singapore Scout Association's Sarimbun Campsite, Girl Guides Singapore's Camp Christine, and Ministry of Education's Jalan Bahtera Adventure Centre.


Sarimbun is a Malay place name, and existed probably since the early nineteenth century. The Franklin and Jackson's Plan of Singapore (1830) refers to Sungei Sarimbun, or Sarimbun River in Malay, as "Serimhone".

Rimbun means "luxuriant", "in great quantity" or "thick".

Other place names with Sarimbun include Pulau Sarimbun, a small island in the Straits of Johor off the coast at Sarimbun. Pulau Sarimbun is within the SAFTI Live Firing Area as shown in the map.


There are three islands in the Western Water Catchment - Pulau Bajau, Pulau Pergam and Pulau Sarimbun. Pulau Bajau is a hypsographic island within Poyan Reservoir. It is part of the SAFTI live firing area.


Pulau Bajau means Bajau island, in which Bajau is an indigenous ethnic group residing in Sabah, eastern Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, the Philippines and parts of Sarawak.


  1. ^ a b Western Water Catchment (Planning Area, Singapore) - Population Statistics, Charts, Map and Location
  2. ^ "Statistics Singapore - Geographic Distribution - 2018 Latest Data". Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  3. ^ URA Masterplan 2019
  4. ^ Trespassers at firing ground: 4 die, 15 July 1968
  5. ^ Don't go picking fruits in the live firing area
  6. ^ at firing 12 arrested for entering live firing area
  7. ^ Pasir Laba Camp sentries
  8. ^ a b c d Work on Murai and Sarimbun Reservoir to start next month
  9. ^ a b c d SAFTI Live Firing Area map
  10. ^ "Naked body of woman in the reservoir". The Straits Times. 11 April 1991.
  11. ^ "Raffles Country Club to give up site for KL-Singapore High Speed Rail". AsiaOne.com. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-12-24. Retrieved 2012-09-07. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Floating solar panel at Tengeh Reservoir
  13. ^ Two men were fined for trespassing into the live firing area
  14. ^ The map of the access gate
  15. ^ Fact Sheet: Next Gen SAFTI City to Revamp the SAFTI Training Area
  16. ^ Murai Urban Live Firing Facility
  17. ^ "Sarimbun". Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum. The Digital Nature Archive of Singapore. Retrieved 22 February 2016.CS1 maint: others (link)