Malaysia: 43 polluted rivers, mostly in urban areas - Wan Junaidi

BERNAMA New Straits Times 25 May 16;

PUTRAJAYA: A total of 43 or nine per cent of rivers in the country, mostly in the urban areas are recorded as polluted, said Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.

Out of the 473 rivers monitored by the Department of Environment, he said 186 rivers or 39 per cent were slightly polluted while 244 rivers or 52 per cent were clean.

“Most of the polluted rivers are in urban areas where high pollution load originates from multiple sources including water wastewater plants, industries and commercial premises and coupled with small base flow volume due to large percentage of paved areas,” he said in his keynote speech at the Seminar on Water Resources Security in the Context of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGD) here today.

His text of speech was read by his deputy Datuk Hamim Samuri.

Meanwhile, Wan Junaidi said he was concerned of suspended sediment pollution from land development activities where huge tract of lands were being cleared for replanting or new commercial crops.

He said for most cases there was little erosion control measures and most of the sediments would be washed into waterways during storms.

“I have received reports that turbidity level for one major river in Malaysia has even reached 6,000 Nephelometric Turbidity Unit (NTU),” he said adding that in a typical case a reading of 1,000 NTU would render a water treatment plant to be shut down.

Wan Junaidi said the proposed Water Resources Act was expected to strengthen water resource management in Malaysia.

“My ministry realises that strong commitment and cooperation of all stakeholders are needed especially the state government and for that reason we have gone to all the states to explain the importance of working together and to accept the proposed bill,” he said.

Meanwhile, he said his ministry was also committed to support and implement the 2030 Agenda of Sustainable Development (SDG) especially at the security aspect of water resources for the nation. -- Bernama

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