Malaysia: Johor to keep supplying water to Singapore

NELSON BENJAMIN The Star 25 Apr 16;

JOHOR BARU: Parts of Johor may be facing water rationing but the state will continue to meet its obligation to supply 250 million gallons to Singapore daily.

The Linggiu Dam, which is operated by Singapore’s Public Utilities Board (PUB) to release water into Sungai Johor to keep the salt water out and improve the water yield, is seeing a 35% level, said Johor Public Works, Rural and Regional Develop­ment Committee chairman Datuk Hasni Mohammad.

Singapore leaders have claimed that this level is the dam’s lowest in its 20 years of operations.

The other five water treatment plants extracting water from Sungai Johor belong to Syarikat Air Johor.

Hasni said the state was bound by an agreement to supply 250 million gallons of water to the island republic until 2061.

“We will still be able to meet Singapore’s needs despite the drop,” he said.

Hasni said cloud seeding would be carried out around dams in the state.

Asked if Singapore had stopped releasing water from Linggiu due to its low level, he said that although it was under its purview, PUB had to release water to prevent the salt water intrusion that would affect the water treatment plants in the area.

“We have started seeing some results from the RM90mil barrage being built to keep salt water from coming into Sungai Johor.

“The barrage will be fully operational in the next few months,” he said, adding that this would allow for water extraction to be carried out in Sungai Johor without the worry of salt water intrusion into treatment plants.

Hasni hoped cloud-seeding efforts would help increase water levels in major water extraction points, including Sungai Johor, Sungai Lebam Dam in Kota Tinggi and Layang Dam in Masai, Pasir Gudang.

The Linggiu Reservoir, built upstream along Sungai Johor in 1994, collects and releases rainwater into the river.

This pushes seawater back into the sea and ensures that the river water is not too salty to be treated by the six water treatment plants located along Sungai Johor.

Imported water makes up about 60% of Singapore’s total consumption needs.

A scheduled water rationing for 85,000 domestic and industrial consumers in the Kota Tinggi and Mersing districts will go on until May 15.

The exercise was the result of the four water treatment plants in the two districts having reached critical levels.

The water treatment plants are situated in Lok Heng and Sungai Gembut in Kota Tinggi, and Sungai Mersing and Tenglu in Mersing.

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