Malaysia: Heatwave causing water supply concerns in Malacca

The Star 5 Apr 16;

MALACCA: Malacca, which recently offered to help its neighbour Negri Sembilan cope with dry taps, may itself face water woes in two weeks.

The state is contemplating cloud seeding by the middle of this month if the hot spell continues to threaten the water levels at three dams.

As of yesterday, the level at the major dam in Durian Tunggal stood at 58% after breaching the warning stage while the other two dams, Jus and Asahan, are still at a comfortable 77% and 89% respectively.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron urged consumers to be serious in saving water although there was still sufficient supply for now.

“But we can’t predict the weather and will start water rationing in a month if there is no rainfall at these dams.

“For now, we can just pray for rain,” he said yesterday.

The state government, he said, would seek help from the Federal Government for cloud seeding by the next two weeks if the situation called for it.

On March 15, the Malacca government offered to help supply water to Negri Sembilan.

At that point, the dam level at Durian Tunggal was at 78%, Jus at 85% and Asahan, 98%.

In Johor Baru, Johor water regulatory body (Bakaj) director Mohd Riduan Md Ali said there weres no plans yet to implement water rationing in the state despite the drop in water levels at all the dams statewide.

He said that despite the drop, the state would continue to supply 1,700 million litres of water per day through the 42 water treatment plants statewide.

“At the moment we are able to cope with the situation,” he said at a special briefing yesterday.

He added that there were several water transfer efforts to increase the water levels at the Lebam and Layang dams.

The present dry spell and reduced rainfall were among the factors contributing to the drop in water levels.

On cloud seeding, he said it was done 30 times last year and that they hoped to carry it out again between now and May.

Public Works, Rural and Regional Development Committee chairman Datuk Hasni Mohammad said all water-related projects in Johor would be given priority to ensure continuous water supply, especially during the present dry spell.

There are five major water-related projects in the state, including in Kahang, Pagoh, Buloh Kasap and Sungai Lebam.

Hasni said the state was also coming down hard on those involved in illegal water extraction for farming and illegal discharge of industrial waste into the state’s waterways.

“There have been some cases of factories discharging wastes into rivers, including in Skudai, Sembrong Kiri and Simpang Renggam,” he said.

“We are also facing salt water intrusion in Sungai Muar and Sungai Johor.”

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