AZURA ABAS New Straits Times 16 Mar 16;
PUTRAJAYA: The hot and dry weather has seen dams in five states record water levels of below 50 per cent. The dams are the Labong dam in Johor at 14.4 per cent; Gemencheh dam in Negri Sembilan (22.2 per cent); Bukit Kwong dam in Kelantan (31.5 per cent); Padang Saga in Kedah (35 per cent) and the Timah Tasoh dam in Perlis (40.8 per cent).
Announcing this today, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the Environment Department also recorded 617 opening burning cases between January and March 14 (Monday).
He said ministry will table to the cabinet this Friday the proposed formation of a special committee that will address issues related to extreme hot and dry weather.
Wan Junaidi said the cabinet would have to decide whether the special committee would be parked under his ministry or the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry.
“At the same time, we will also present to the cabinet a list of proposed guidelines similar to what we have for haze," he told reporters after chairing a two-hour special meeting today to discuss steps to be taken over the hot and dry spell.
Wan Junaidi, however, declined to disclose the details of the guidelines and only hinted that it would cover a wide range of measures to be taken including at what clime degree should schools be advised to close.
Negri residents to know next week if water rationing will begin
NUR AQIDAH AZIZI New Straits Times 16 Mar 16;
SEREMBAN: Negri Sembilan residents will know next week whether they will have to endure water rationing.
Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan said a meeting would be held next week to decide on the next course of action, in view of the current dry spell.
The decreasing water level in the majority of the state’s dams, he said, needed immediate action.
He said the meeting would include Syarikat Air Negeri Sembilan (SAINS), the Meteorological Department and other relevant government agencies.
"We will discuss all water-related issues including strategies to ensure water in the dams can last longer.
A decision on whether we can proceed with water rationing too will be decided in the meeting," said Mohamad after chairing the state exco meeting at Wisma Negeri today.
In addition, a decision on whether the state government would release water from the Talang dam in Kuala Pilah to Sungai Muar and Sungai Terip will also be made in the meeting.
"The water level in both rivers have recorded a decrease due to the hot weather.
We will also review whether there's a need to purchase water from other states to help us cope with this problem," he said.
Penangites urged to conserve water to weather the dry spell
ANTHONY TAN The Star 16 Mar 16;
Pak Lah most likely to get Petronas adviser’s post
GEORGE TOWN: Penangites have been urged to conserve water although there should be enough in the state’s dams to last through the current hot and dry season.
Penang Water Supply Corporation Sdn Bhd (PBAPP) chief executive officer Datuk Jaseni Maidinsa (pic) advised consumers to avoid using a hose to carry out cleaning activities and to wash their vehicles less frequently.
“Hosing wastes water. Avoid using a hose at all costs,” he said in a press statement on Wednesday.
He also said the public could visit www.pba.com.my for more water saving tips.
Jaseni said there has been very little rain in Penang over the last 30 days while daytime temperatures have soared to 35 °C.
“However, there is no immediate danger of a water crisis or water rationing,” he added.
He said PBAPP has been implementing programmes since the fourth quarter of last year to avoid rationing in this 2016 “Super El Niño” season.
Jaseni said this includes optimising Penang’s dam reserves by drawing as little water as possible each day so that there is adequate storage during the dry season and expediting repairs for burst pipes.
He said PBAPP had also increased extraction of water from the Muda River for treatment at the Sungai Dua treatment plant on the mainland, which has been producing about 900 million litres of treated water per day, to meet Penang’s daily needs.
Jaseni said water in Penang’s dams should be sufficient to last until the rains arrive next month.
The capacity of the Air Itam Dam is at 75.7%, which is enough to last 74 days; and Teluk Bahang Dam is at 72.3%, which is enough for 220 days of supply.
On Jan 1, the capacities of the Air Itam Dam and the Teluk Bahang Dam were 89.3% and 84.2% respectively, he said.
He also said PBAPP can still extract around one billion litres of water per day from the Muda River daily for treatment at the Sungai Dua plant although the river level has dropped to 2.41m.
Jaseni said if there is any shortfall, there is a standing agreement that the Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry will ask Kedah to release water into the river from the Muda Dam.
Penang’s Mengkuang Dam is temporarily decommissioned to facilitate the RM1.2bil upgrading works by the ministry.
Jaseni said the Muda River is Penang’s primary source of raw water.
Water situation still under control despite heat wave, says SPAN
JAMES SIVALINGAM New Straits Times 17 Mar 16;
KUALA LUMPUR: The National Water Services Commission Malaysia (SPAN) has yet to receive applications by state water operators for water rationing, as the dam levels are still at manageable levels.
This is despite the current hot and dry conditions that the country is currently facing, said SPAN Chief Executive Officer Datuk Mohd Ridhuan B Ismail.
“The El Niño is effect is seen in most of the Northern states, as we are made to know, such as Penang, Perlis and Kedah with the highest recorded temperatures over there.
“But we are still managing and the dam levels are under control,” he told a press conference here today.
In the Klang Valley, all the dams in Selangor are at 80 per cent capacity, which is much higher that the drought season of 2014, said Ridhuan, adding that SPAN is currently monitoring all dams closely.
On Tuesday, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar announced that the hot and dry weather has seen dams in five states record water levels of below 50 per cent.
The five dams were the Labong dam in Johor at 14.4 per cent; Gemencheh dam in Negri Sembilan (22.2 per cent); Bukit Kwong dam in Kelantan (31.5 per cent); Padang Saga in Kedah (35 per cent) and the Timah Tasoh dam in Perlis (40.8 per cent).
AZURA ABAS New Straits Times 16 Mar 16;