Malaysia: Two critical dams in Johor will dry out in two weeks if rainfall remains low

HALIM SAID New Straits Times 12 May 16;

JOHOR BARU: Two critical dams in the state will dry out in as little as two weeks if rainfall levels remain low.

The water level at the Upper Layang dam, which caters to Pasir Gudang and Kota Tinggi residents, and Chongok dam in Mersing are not showing improvement as water levels continue to deplete daily.

State Public Works and Rural and Regional Development Executive Committee chairman Datuk Hasni Mohammad, who made the revelation today, said the absence of rainfall at the dams' catchment areas are hindering efforts to restore the two dams to normal level.

"Due to this, the rationing exercise will have to be extended for another month and will affect the areas which had previously been put to the rationing exercise," he said.

He added that without rain and due to the current hot spell, the dams' reserves will probably only last between two weeks and a month before drying out.

As of today, the Upper Layang dam water level stands at 19.25m compared to its critical level of 23.5m while Chongok dam measured at 3.9m as compared to its critical level of 4.8m.

Hasni added the cloud seeding exercise, which had been routinely carried out since April , will now be conducted on a daily basis.

"We will also look into the option of tapping underground water using the Tubewell technology as alternative water source for critical areas.

We will engage Universiti Teknologi Malaysia's expertise for that," he said.

Water rationing soon for 800,000 in JB and Pasir Gudang
NELSON BENJAMIN The Star 12 May 16;

JOHOR BARU: The water level at two major dams continues to worsen despite daily rainfall in the city.

State Public Works, Rural and Regional Development Committee chairman Datuk Hasni Mohammed said the number of consumers facing scheduled water rationing is expected to increase to 885,000 by the end of the month.

He added that presently, 85,000 consumers in Mersing and Kota Tinggi have been facing scheduled water rationing for the past one month.

"We expect this to continue in the two areas while about 800,000 consumers in Johor Baru and Pasir Gudang will be involved in water rationing by the end of the month," he said at a press conference here Thursday.

Hasni said the two major dams are Empangan Congok and Empangan Layang, adding that the present daily rainfall is not enough in the catchment areas.

885,000 may face water rationing in Johor
The Star 13 May 16;

JOHOR BARU: Unless the water levels at the Congok and Layang dams improve, almost 885,000 consumers in four districts will be affected by scheduled water rationing by the end of the month.

State Public Works, Rural and Regional Development Committee chairman Datuk Hasni Mohammed said there had not been much improvement in the water levels at both dams despite the downpours in Johor Baru.

“At least 85,000 consumers in the Mersing and Kota Tinggi districts have been experien­cing scheduled water rationing for the past month.

“If the water level at the Layang dam does not increase by the end of this month, some 800,000 consumers in Johor Baru and Pasir Gudang will also face scheduled water rationing,” he told a press conference yesterday.

He added that the Congok dam was only able to supply water for another two weeks while the Layang dam could only supply water for about a month.

Hasni said the state would do more cloud seeding, including those by private companies.

Cloud seeding still on despite the rain
The Star 13 May 16;

KUALA LUMPUR: Strange as it may sound, cloud seeding is still being carried out by the Government to fill dams around the country despite the recent heavy downpour.

Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Madius Tangau said the current wet spell was not going to last and it was a case of making rain while there were clouds in the sky.

He said water levels at the dams were adversely affected by the dry weather due to the El Nino phenomenon.

“We have been greatly assisted by nature. There have been rains here and there,” he said after the launch of the 27th International Invention and Innovation Exhibition (ITEX16).

He pointed out that the current inter-monsoon rains will cease by the end of the month and will be followed by the normal dry period from June to September.

He said the next opportunity for cloud seeding would be in October.

“So that’s why we are trying to maximize rain harvesting this month until our dams are full,” he said.

Sabah lifts ban on hunting
The Star 13 May 16;

KOTA KINABALU: The temporary freeze on hunting licences in Sabah has been mostly lifted, following a change in weather.

Sabah Wildlife Department director William Baya said the issuance of licences was halted in April in view of the hot and dry weather, this is to avoid the possibility of forest fires caused by hunters.

“Now that we are having rain, the freeze is over with immediate effect,” he said in a statement.

However, Baya said, hunting in Kinabatangan was still prohibited because it was still hot and dry there.

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