Group of boys playing soccer at Marina Barrage

The Marina Barrage is an ideal spot for a dose of education, mixed with fun in the sun and recreation on the water.

In Singapore, even something as common as a reservoir can be turned into a hotspot for recreational activities. Built across the mouth of the 350-metre-wide Marina Channel, the Marina Barrage creates the country’s 15th reservoir, with a catchment area that spans a whopping 10,000 hectares.

As the water in the reservoir remains calm all year around, it’s ideal for some soaking wet fun, whether it’s kayaking or, for the more team-spirited, a dragon boat race.

If water sports is not your thing, head to the rooftop of the barrage, which boasts a green space that’s popular for flying a kite, or just to chill out with the family.

The Marina Barrage also plays an important part in helping to alleviate flooding in some of the lower lying areas of the island. During periods of heavy rain, a series of nine crest gates will be opened to release excess storm water into the sea when the tide is low. When the tide is high, seven giant pumps that are capable of pumping one Olympic-sized swimming pool per minute whirr into action, draining water into the sea.

Marina Barrage at sunset

Photo by LH Wong via

The facility is also a showcase for Singapore’s push to be a greener country. The Solar Park, for instance, features one of the largest collections of solar panels in Singapore, with over 400 panels providing electricity needed for lighting at the barrage during the day.

To find out more about the country’s efforts to go green, head to the Sustainable Singapore Gallery at the barrage’s ground floor. This educational space illustrates environmental and water issues through interactive multi-media displays, exhibits and games, with a guided tour available at the gallery.