Malaysia: Triggers in Johor water crisis

YEE XIANG YUN The Star 12 Nov 15;

JOHOR BARU: The failure in triggering rainfall by cloud seeding at the depleting Sungai Lebam and Sungai Layang dams as well as climate change are among the factors for the current water crisis in Johor.

While parts of Johor enjoyed rainfall in the past few weeks, there was no rain at the Sungai Layang dam in Pasir Gudang and Sungai Lebam dam in Kota Tinggi, said SAJ Holdings Sdn Bhd corporate communications head Jamaluddin Jamil.

He said the rainfall trend in Johor has been on the downward trend since last year, adding that the rainfall data recorded this year did not show any improvement.

“The lack of clouds in the area also caused the state government’s efforts to perform cloud seeding to be unsuccessful,” he said at a dialogue session with residents organised by the Pasir Gudang MCA division yesterday.

Jamaluddin hopes the water levels at the Sungai Layang and Sungai Lebam dams will see improvements once the ongoing RM4mil water transfer projects to pump water from nearby Sungai Tiram and Sungai Papan rivers are completed next month.

Pasir Gudang MCA division chief Tan Cher Puk proposed the formation of a committee consisting of SAJ, the Johor Water Regulatory Body and the Water Services Commission, to come up with a long-term solution to tackle the water issues in the state for the next 50 years.

“There is no point in playing the blame game because the people want to see results and solutions to the problem,” he said, adding that he had received more than 300 complaints from residents and businesses in the past week.

SAJ announced on Monday that scheduled water rationing would continue until Dec 15.

The exercise began in August where consumers would get water for a day after two days of dry taps.

SAJ Holdings hopes water levels improve with RM4m raw water transfer project
HAIRUL ANUAR ABD RAHIM New Straits Times 12 Nov 15;

JOHOR BARU: Johor water utility company, SAJ Holdings is hoping for a positive affect from the RM4 million raw water transfer project that is expected to boost water levels in the two dams that are faced with depleting water levels.

SAJ Holdings corporate communications manager Jamaluddin Jamil said if the water levels at the affected Sungai Lebam and Sungai Layang dams could be restored to their normal levels, the SAJ could review the schedule for its water rationing.

He said the situation at both dams would be better once the pumps stations at Sungai Papan and Sungai Tiram starts operating when the raw water transfer project begins at the end of next month.

"The project is expected to provide up to 30 million litres per day (MLD) of additional raw water to Sungai Layang and Sungai Lebam dams.

"Raw water from Sungai Papan in Bandar Penawar will be pumped into the Sungai Lebam dam, while raw water from Sungai Tiram will be pumped into the Sungai Layang dam in Masai," said Jamaluddin after a dialogue between Pasir Gudang residents and Pasir Gudang MCA chairman Tan Cher Puk, here yesterday.
On Monday, SAJ Holdings announced that the water rationing exercise affecting part of Johor Baru and Kota Tinggi would be extended until Dec 15, which is the fourth cycle of rationing.

The move was needed as it would help prolong the storage of water in both dams especially Sungai Lebam, which recorded a reading of 8.19m, which is below the 12.27m critical level.

The water rationing is affecting 575,000 users in Pasir Gudang, Masai and part of Johor Baru, and more than 66,000 users in the Tanjung Surat, Pantai Timur and Pengerang subdistricts in Kota Tinggi.

Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin had recently announced the RM4 milllion project to transfer raw water into the two dams, which will be done through a network of pipes that are being built.

Meanwhile, Tan urged the state government to identify other sources where raw water or rainwater could be gathered to supplement the water levels at Sungai Layang and Sungai Lebam dams.

"A study should be carried out to identify areas in the city with high amount of rainfall, and have equipment to harvest rainwater to be channeled into the two critical dams," said Tan.

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