AT FIRST glance, there is little in common between a Japanese soya sauce manufacturing firm and Gardens by the Bay (GB), one of the attractions at Marina Bay.

Dig a little deeper, and there is - in the most prosaic way imaginable. Clean water is an essential component of soya sauce. And GB's lakes help produce just that: water that is filtered and drained into the reservoir to be finally piped into homes and factories.

This is why soya sauce maker Kikkoman Corporation is donating $1 million to GB for the development of Kingfisher Lake, a 5,800 sqm body of water in GB's Bay South garden. The sum - the largest cash donation GB has received - will be used to build features like a mini-waterfall, a lily pool and a spring water system.

Kingfisher Lake captures run-off water from the gardens, filters it through aquatic plants and then discharges clean water into the Marina Reservoir nearby.

The firm's Singapore arm - Kikkoman Singapore - committed the money through the Garden City Fund, a registered charity of the National Parks Board, which runs GB. 'To make high-quality soya sauce, pure and clean water is very important. Gardens by the Bay has some unique and very important water management initiatives using water circulation systems and aquatic plants,' said Kikkoman chief executive Yuzaburo Mogi at a ground-breaking ceremony for Kingfisher Lake on Monday.

He said the firm, which is celebrating its 25th year in Singapore, approached GB after researching possible water-related projects it could sponsor.

Kikkoman donates $1m for lake