Singapore, Malaysia to have regular exchanges to monitor water supply issues

Singapore's Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli and his Malaysian counterpart Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water Maximus Ongkili agreed that climate change presented challenges to all countries.

Channel NewsAsia 25 Feb 16;

SINGAPORE: Causeway neighbours Singapore and Malaysia will have regular exchanges to monitor and implement mitigation measures to address water issues, according to the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR).

In a press release on Thursday (Feb 25), the ministry said both Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli and Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water Maximus Ongkili agreed that climate change presented challenges to all countries.

One example is the Linggiu Reservoir, which in recent months has not been able to have "healthy" water levels due to low rainfall. Water levels at Johor's Linggiu Reservoir had dropped to a historic low of 43 per cent last November.

"This can cause salinity intrusion in Johor River, thus disrupting Singapore's abstraction of its 250 millions of gallons per day (mgd) entitlement," said MEWR.

As such, both ministers agreed in principle to the regular exchanges to address this concern and ensure a reliable supply of water for both countries, it added.

Mr Masagos also called on Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar on Thursday, and they welcomed the "excellent" environmental cooperation between both countries, MEWR stated. They also called for greater collective action on tackling the perennial transboundary haze pollution in South-east Asia.

Both ministers reaffirmed their commitment to work together to exchange information and address any potential environmental impact of land reclamation projects in the Straits of Johor, MEWR added.

Mr Masagos also made a courtesy call on Minister of Federal Territories and UMNO Secretary-General Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor.

- CNA/kk

S’pore, M’sia pledge to cooperate to ensure reliable water supply
SIAU MING EN Today Online 26 Feb 16;

SINGAPORE — With the risk of not being able to reliably draw water from the Johor River due to the below-healthy water levels in the Linggiu Reservoir in Johor, Singapore and Malaysia have agreed “in principle” to have regular exchanges to monitor and implement mitigation measures to ensure a reliable supply of water for both countries.

During an introductory visit by the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli to Malaysia’s Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water Maximus Ongkili yesterday, both ministers agreed that climate change has presented challenges to all countries.

These challenges include the fact that the low rainfall of recent months had not been able to keep the water in Linggiu Reservoir at healthy levels, said a Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) spokesperson in a press release on the meeting issued yesterday.

Water levels in the reservoir, Singapore’s major water supply source, stood at 49 per cent last month, despite the start of the north-east monsoon season in December.

The low water levels can cause salinity intrusion — or salt water entering the body of fresh water — in the Johor River.

This can disrupt Singapore’s ability to extract and treat up to 250 million gallons of water a day from the river, which is provided for under the 1962 water agreement between Singapore and Malaysia.

Mr Masagos’ one-day working visit yesterday was part of Singapore’s efforts to strengthen its engagement on environmental and water collaborations with Malaysia.

He also called on Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, where they called for “greater collective action on tackling the perennial transboundary haze pollution in South-east Asia”.

Both ministers also reaffirmed their commitment to work together to exchange information and address any potential environmental impact of land reclamation projects in the Straits of Johor, added the MEWR spokesperson.

The controversial Johor Forest City project has since restarted its reclamation work in March last year.

Last week, Singapore said it was concerned that the reclamation work on some of the Malaysian projects in the Straits of Johor may have commenced without the requisite Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). In cases where Malaysia informed Singapore that the EIAs have been conducted, not all the reports have been shared with Singapore.

No comments:

Post a Comment