Malaysia: Start water rationing now or be sorry, SPAN tells Perak govt

T. AVINESHWARAN The Star 29 Apr 16;

KERIAN: Better be safe than sorry, says the National Water Services Commission (SPAN) as it urged the Perak government to consider water rationing in areas that receive supplies from the Gunung Semanggol and Jalan Baru water treatment plant.

SPAN commissioner Prof Datuk Dr N. Marimuthu, who visited the Gunung Semanggol water treatment plant on Friday, said the rationing would extend available water at the Bukit Merah dam.

He said it also reduces the risk for the dam drying up which can be of grave impact on consumers.

"We are taking this issue seriously. SPAN will make recommendations to the state government to take drastic action.

"If we have to do water rationing, we have to do it. Based on the Meteorological Department's prediction, this phenomenon could go on till September."

Marimuthu urged consumers in the areas to be mindful when using water as the El-Nino phenomenon will go on for a while.

The Bukit Merah Dam has less than 6m of water at its deepest point and only 14% of water remains despite having a catchment area of 480 sq km.

According to SPAN, the dam can only last for 30 days if no water rationing is done and there has only been 20cm increase in the last few days.

Perak govt: No water rationing in Kerian for now
M.HAMZAH JAMALUDIN New Straits Times 29 Apr 16;

IPOH: The Perak government will not implement water rationing in the Kerian district as the water level at Bukit Merah dam has improved from 6.1m on Monday to 6.2m today.

State Public Utlities, Infrastructure, Energy and Water Committee chairman Datuk Zainol Fadzi Paharudin said the improvement was due to intermittent rain in the area over the past few days.

"We will stick to our earlier statement that water rationing will only be implemented if the water level at Bukit Merah dam drops to 5.1m," he said after co-chairing a special meeting on the issue with State Secretary Datuk Seri Abdul Puhat Mat Nayan here today.

While acknowledging the proposal made by the National Water Services Commission (Span) on water rationing, he said the state government decided against it after receiving feedback from the Irrigation and Drainage Department (DID) and Perak Water Board (PWB).

During the meeting, he said they had also discussed the reports tabled by DID, PWB, Meteorological Department and the Agriculture Department.

Zainol said water from the Bukit Merah dam would only be channeled to the water treatment plants for domestic and industrial use.

"The supply for agricultural irrigation has been temporarily halted until the water level reaches the normal range of at least 7m," he said.

For the Bukit Merah dam, the water level is considered "critical stage one" when it drops below 7m while "crtitical stage two" when it reaches 6.7m and "critical stage three" when it breaches 6.4m.

The maximum level at the dam is 8.55m while the minimum, which should trigger the water rationing and other contigency measures, is at 5.1m. Built in 1906, the Bukit Merah dam is located upstream of the confluence of Sungai Kurau and Sungai Merah and drained about 480 square kilometeres, with a storage capacity of 92.8 million cubic metres.


Span: Start water rationing
The Star 30 Apr 16;

KERIAN: Do not wait for disaster to happen, and consider water rationing now in areas supplied by the depleting Gunung Semanggol and Jalan Baru water treatment plants, the National Water Services Commission (Span) is urging the Perak government.

SPAN commissioner Prof Datuk Dr N. Marimuthu, who visited the Gunung Semanggol plant yesterday, said if rationing was done, it would extend available water at the Bukit Merah dam.

He added that it also reduced the risk of the dam drying up, which could gravely impact consumers.

“If we have to do water rationing, we have to do it. Based on the Meteorological Department's prediction, this phenomenon could go on till September,” he said.

However, the state government is maintaining its stand not to start water rationing in those areas.

Perak Water Committee chairman Datuk Zainol Fadzi Paharudin said the trend in the past one week showed there were some showers in Bukit Merah, which led to an increase in the water level at the Bukit Marah dam.

On Monday, the level was at 6.06m but this has now increased to 6.21m.

“I have already said, if the water level drops to 17 feet (5.18m), we will have to do water rationing,” he said.

The Bukit Merah Dam has around 6m of water at its deepest point and only 14% of water remains despite the catchment area of 480sq km.

According to SPAN, the dam can last for only 30 days without water rationing.

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