The Kallang River (Chinese: 加冷河, Pinyin: Jiālěng Hé) flows for 10 kilometres from the Lower Peirce Reservoir to the coast at Nicoll Highway, making it the longest river in Singapore. The river mouth was traditionally at Kallang Basin, although extensive land reclamation around the area meant the river only flows into the open sea via the Marina Channel between Marina Centre and Marina East.
Kallang River is the place, too, where in the early days the Bugis traders from Sulawesi (the Celebes) unloaded their cargoes of spices and tortoise shells, gold dust and slaves from their palari or leteh-leteh. These sailing boats were a common sight off the sea front even up to the 1960s.
The "demonstration project" by the National Parks Board (NParks) and the Public Utilities Board (PUB) is part of the Active, Beautiful and Clean Waters Programme to transform rivers and reservoirs into vibrant community hubs, and to get Singaporeans to cherish and take care of their waterways. NParks and the PUB reviewed some of the world's best rivers such as the Charles River in the United States and the Cheonggye Stream in Seoul to draw inspiration and learn best practices.
By August 2007, the Kolam Ayer stretch of the river will be transformed to include more greenery, floating decks, pathways and boardwalks for recreational activities. A water wheel will be introduced as the centrepiece of the project. The water level will be kept at a constant level — 3 metres deep — making activities such as kayaking and dragon boating possible.