Malaysia: Four million at risk of water cuts

The Star 19 Apr 16;

GEORGE TOWN: About four million people in the north will be affected if the Federal Government does not act fast to resolve the impending water crisis.

Penang Water Supply Corporation Sdn Bhd (PBAPP) chief executive officer Datuk Jaseni Maidinsa said Penangites would be hit hard as both the Beris dam and Muda dam could only last for 30 and 50 days respectively as reported.

“These two dams release water to sustain the water level of Sungai Muda where 80% of Penang water comes from.

“We are concerned with the sustainability of the water level in Sungai Muda,” he said.

Jaseni also raised concern of Kedah’s contingency plan if both dams dried up.

“If they continue to supply water for irrigation in Southern Kedah, they will be in serious deficit.

“That is a fact,” he said at a press conference after the signing of “Corporate Integrity Pledge” (CIP) between PBA Holdings Bhd and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission at Jen Hotel yesterday.

Jaseni said the company had proposed to the Federal Government to carry out four urgent measures – large scale cloud seeding, postponement of irrigation activities in the northern region, minimising draw down of reserves from all dams and to advise consumers to use less water.

Jaseni said although there were rains on Sunday, they managed to collect only 1mm and 31mm at the Air Itam dam and Teluk Bahang dam respectively.

“We were supposed to get rains for the last three weeks but we did not because of El Nino.

“Business will be crippled. Any water rationing can cause chaos in domestic and commercial activities,” he said.

Jaseni said certain parts of Johor and Perlis have already started water rationing.

“This is getting serious. The national water council should convene and find a solution for the problem because it involves four million people,” he said.

No rationing in Klang Valley for now
The Star 19 Apr 16;

PETALING JAYA: There will be no water rationing in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya for now.

The water situation in Selangor was stable and all water treatment plants were fully operational, said Air Selangor corporate communications head Amin Lin Abdullah.

In the northern parts of Perlis, water rationing exercises begun last Saturday in Wang Kelian, Kaki Bukit, Titi Tinggi, Beseri and Abi.

Syarikat Air Perlis (SAP) chief executive officer Abd Hamid Sahid said the company was reducing production at Timah Tasoh dam so there would be reserve water for a few more days.

Timah Tasoh supplies 30% of Perlis’ water needs.

“There is water but the pressure is low for those in lower ground areas. We have been sending water tanks daily to help them out,” said Abd Hamid.

No water rationing in Penang
BERNAMA New Straits Times 18 Apr 16;

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang Government will not ration water despite the prolonged dry spell which shows no sign of abating.

However, Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) chief executive officer Datuk Jaseni Maidinsa said immediate measure needed to be taken by the federal government to mitigate the Super El Nino phenomenon.

He said PBAPP had no plan for water rationing as it would cause chaos for domestic and commercial activities.

“In Penang, we have a policy of no water rationing and that is why we are seriously raising this issue... we urge the federal government to act now to avoid and prevent a foreseeable crisis,” he told reporters here today.

He said PBAPP was primarily concerned with the sustainability of the water level in Sungai Muda as it supplied more than 80 per cent water to this state.

Jaseni said he was informed that the Beris Dam could only last for 30 days while Muda Dam had 50 days, adding that they were the only dams in Kedah which released water to sustain the level of Sungai Muda.

“We like to know what the Kedah contingency plan is about...if the Muda and Beris dam water levels fall below the minimum level and based on the current reserve level, how will it continue to release water to Sungai Muda?” he asked.--BERNAMA

El Nino not yearly phenomenon: Mosti
BERNAMA New Straits Times 18 Apr 16;

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will not experience the hot and dry spell caused by the El Nino every year because such a phenomenon only happens once in two to seven years.

Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Datuk Dr Abu Bakar Md Diah said in Malaysia, especially northern states, are currently experience a hot and dry spell due to the El Nino phenomenon and their proximity to the subtropical ridge.

“Subtropical ridge is a significant belt of atmospheric high pressure situated around the latitudes of 30°N in the Northern Hemisphere and 30°S in the Southern Hemisphere,” said Abu Bakar when answering a question from Senator Datuk Jaspal Singh in Dewan Negara, here today. Jaspal had wanted to know why Malaysia, especially the northern states, were experiencing hot weather and a continuous dry spell this year.

Abu Bakar said the hot and dry spell experienced by Malaysia was not an annual occurrence since records on the El Nino phenomenon showed that there was always a gap. Malaysia experienced a similar phenomenon in 1982-1983, followed by 1997-1998 and now from 2015-2016.

The El Nino phenomenon did not only affect Malaysia, but other countries in South East Asia, Asia Pacific as well as Australia, he said.--BERNAMA

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