Malaysia: Rains came but dams still at critical level

ROYCE TAN The Star 23 May 16;

SERDANG: Water rationing will continue in Mersing and Kota Tinggi despite most dams in critical areas showing an improvement in the level due to rain the past week.

National Water Services Commis­sion (Span) CEO Datuk Mohd Ridhuan Ismail said the rationing would continue until June 15 as the level at the water treatment plants there was still below the critical mark due to insufficient raw water flowing into the plants.

“Water levels at the Lok Heng and Sungai Gembut treatment plants are seeing an increasing trend.

“We hope the rain continues so that the situation will be better.

“The level at the Bukit Merah dam has risen significantly.

“As of Friday, the level was at 8.10m or at 74.8% capacity,” he told reporters after flagging off the Thirsty Runner 2016 here yesterday.

The Timah Tasoh dam in Perlis was at 26.18m (13.3%) and the Congok and Layang dams in Johor were at 3.77m (10.35%) and 19.12m (15.1%) respectively.

He also advised Malaysians to save water as the country’s usage per capita was at 211 litres compared to the world’s standard usage at only 150 litres.

On the logging of the Ulu Muda forest reserve in Kedah, which is also an important water catchment area, Mohd Ridhuan said both water and timber sources were under the purview of the state go­vernment.

“I’m sure that they are doing it wisely because the catchment area is part and parcel of Kedah’s water source as well,” he said.

“It’s the state government’s prerogative to monitor the situation.”

Water rationing ends for Felda Lok Heng residents
YEE XIANG YUN The Star 23 May 16;

JOHOR BARU: Residents staying at Felda Lok Heng in Kota Tinggi will be relieved to know that the scheduled water supply exercise for the area ends today.

SAJ Holdings Sdn Bhd Corporate Communications chief Jamaluddin Jamil (pic) said that this was following the increase in water levels at Sungai Sedili Kecil, which supplies water to the Lok Heng water treatment plant.

He said that the water level had reached 2.67m compared to the critical level of 1.5m recorded previously which warranted a scheduled water supply exercise to be carried out.

“This puts an end to the exercise, which began about a month ago and water supply has resumed regularly,” he said in a statement here on Monday.

The settlement, which has more than 18,000 consumers, was among the areas in Kota Tinggi and Mersing affected by water cuts on 85,000 domestic and industrial consumers since a month ago.

However, Jamaluddin said that areas receiving water supply from the Sungai Gembut, Tenglu and Sungai Mersing water treatment plants would still experience scheduled water supply for the time being.

Cloud seeding must go on in Penang
The Star 23 May 16;

GEORGE TOWN: The water situation in Penang is still not safe as the level at the dams has not reached 60% even with the recent cloud seeding operations.

Penang Water Supply Corporation Sdn Bhd (PBAPP) chief executive officer Datuk Jaseni Maidinsa said that cloud seeding should continue until the effects of El Nino taper off at the end of June.

“Both the Teluk Bahang and Air Itam dams must reach the 60% mark. Right now, it’s hovering at around 50%,” he said when commenting on the recent cloud seeding operation which was successfully carried out on Friday in the northern states.

He said the water levels at the Muda and Beris dams in Kedah were presently around 30%.

A statement on the portal of the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry revealed that cloud seeding had brought rain to the Timah Tasoh dam in Perlis, the Beris and Ahning dams in Kedah and the Teluk Bahang and Air Itam dams in Penang.

“The Federal Government should not let up on the cloud seeding ope­rations as the dry weather is expected to continue throughout June,” said Jaseni.

He added that if cloud seeding was stopped now, the level in all the dams would drop and it could create a major issue early next year even if it rained after June.

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