ZAZALI MUSA The Star 8 Apr 16;
JOHOR BARU: It is easy to blame the El Nino phenomenon for the drop in water levels in several dams and rivers in Johor but we need to study other causes too.
“We are also to blame for cutting down trees indiscriminately.
“Deforestation in the catchment areas is the chief cause of falling water levels at dams statewide,” said Malaysian Nature Society Johor branch chairman Vincent Chow.
He said that the state authorities are sending the wrong signal by insisting that all is well in Johor despite the drop in water levels.
Newspapers reports quoted Johor water regulatory body director Mohd Riduan Md Ali saying there are no plans yet to implement rationing in the state despite the drop in water levels in dams.
Syarikat Air Johor Holdings Sdn Bhd general manager for production and distribution Elias Ismail said there was sufficient water supply for everyone during the current hot spell.
Chow said many of the rivers in Johor are polluted too.
He said among the rivers which needed immediate attention were those in Kluang namely Sungai Mengkibol, Sungai Kahang, Sungai Sembrong Kiri and Sungai Semrong Kecil as well as Sungai Johor in Kota Tinggi.
Green Earth Society Johor president P. Sivakumar said Johor should study catchment areas which have turned “bald” due to human activities.
“All is not well in Johor when it comes to water supply and long-term water management policies,’’ he said, adding the lack of enforcement was the reason why illegal logging and large scale agricultural activities including from oil palm plantations are taking place inside water catchment areas or close to dams.
He said Malaysia should emulate Singapore and start looking at new water resources like rainwater harvesting and treated used water.
Water crisis if dry spell goes on
TASHNY SUKUMARAN The Star 8 Apr 16;
KUALA LUMPUR: Several states are in danger of a water crisis if the hot weather continues, says Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Johnity Ongkili.
He said Sabah, Perlis, Johor and Kedah were among the states that would be affected.
“Over the next two to three weeks, if the weather continues, there may be insufficient water for treatment by the plants. Now we are praying for rain to come.
“We are monitoring the situation very closely,” he said at the launch of the Asiawater 2016 conference yesterday, adding that some areas in Negri Sembilan were also at risk.
“Water at some dams are at critical levels but they are still managing. No requests for rationing yet.”
He also commented on non-revenue water (NRW), saying that as in most states, Putrajaya had not been able to lower the amount proportionately to investment in the sector.
“Only three states have achieved a commendable NRW level of below 30%,” he said, adding that five states recorded a level of 40 to 50%.
He added that a new NRW action plan has been formulated and would be brought before Cabinet by the end of the month.
He said that while the overall investment amount has not been fixed, the first priority was to deal with existing operators to change connectors that can be fixed immediately, and after that replace old pipes.
“Managing NRW is no longer a one-off exercise,” he said.
Bkt Malut Dam will be critical if heatwave lasts till June
The Star 8 Apr 16;
LANGKAWI: The water level at Bukit Malut Dam here will be critical if the heatwave goes on for another two months.
Kedah Local Government, Housing, Water Supply, Water Resources and Energy Committee chairman Datuk Badrol Hisham Hashim said the level was now 70.9m, adding that critical was 50.5m.
He said the state government has given an assurance that there would not be a water crisis on the island.
The water supply was adequate for the next two months, he added.
Earlier, Badrol visited the reservoir at the Padang Saga water treatment plant, accompanied by Syarikat Air Darul Aman (Sada) chief executive officer Datuk Adzmi Din.
He advised the public to use water wisely during the El Nino season to help avoid water rationing.
On talk that Langkawi would be facing a water crisis in 2018, Badrol said the Federal Government has allocated RM3mil to Sada to carry out studies.
“The involved parties are in the process of appointing a consultant to carry out the studies and in less than a year, we will get a report on the island’s water supply status.
“The studies will also involve the reverse-osmosis process of turning sea-water into drinking water, which will be controlled and supervised by Sada,” he added.
ZAZALI MUSA The Star 8 Apr 16;