Malaysia Johor: Hit by water shortage, Kluang starts water rationing

HALIM SAID New Straits Times 30 Aug 16;

JOHOR BARU: After Mersing, now Kluang was hit by water supply shortage.

The district has kickstarted a month-long water rationing exercise which started in mid-August, affecting 56,000 account holders or 280,000 residents in the Sembrong subdistrict.

Water utility company, SAJ Holdings Sdn Bhd, which manages the Sembrong Timur water treatment plant in Kluang, recently detected a gradual drop in the water level at Sungai Sembrong Kiri.

Its chief executive officer Abdul Wahab Abdul Hamid said checks showed Sungai Sembrong Kiri's level had depleted to 0.2m on Aug 15, surpassing its warning level of 0.7m.

The water treatment plant obtains its raw water supply from Sungai Sembrong Kiri. "Due to that, our Sembrong Timur water treatment plant is operating at minimal production, forcing for a water rationing exercise to be carried out for a whole one month until mid September," he said.

He said the water level rose to 1.7m following a downpour yesterday, but SAJ would continue its rationing exercise until the plant could reach its normal output of 34 million litres of treated water per day.

Abdul Wahab said the current water rationing exercise would see two days of no water supply and a 24-hour period of water flow on the third day.

Plan for new dam near Sg Mersing
MOHD FARHAAN SHAH The Star 31 Aug 16;

JOHOR BARU: The Government plans to build a new dam along Sungai Mersing to reduce the dependence on the Congok dam which has been recording low water levels.

SAJ Holdings Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Abdul Wahab Abdul Hamid (pic) said the project was provided for under the 11th Malaysian Plan.

“The Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry is conducting feasibility studies on the proposed new dam in the area,” he said yesterday.

Abdul Wahab said there was no water source for the Congok dam except from the rain.

And for the past three years, there has been less rainfall causing the water level at the dam, which supplies water to 11,000 account holders, to decrease at an alarming rate.

“Normally, we are able to get about 1.8m to 2m of rainfall within a year but due to the El Nino effect, we received about one third of rain water causing the situation to wor­sen,” he added.

He also pointed out that the Congok dam was not big and that the authorities were taking proactive measures to solve the water woes by deepening it to double its storage capabilities.

He said the state government, through the Johor Water Regulating Body, hoped to conduct water transfer from Sungai Leng­gor to Congok dam.

He said a consultant had been appointed to oversee the project where a 27km-long pipeline would be installed to channel the water.

On the water woes in Kluang, Abdul Wahab said that SAJ had been given permission by the National Water Services Com­mission to carry out scheduled water supply until Sept 14 to about 56,000 account holders.

The water level at Sungai Sembrong Kiri has decreased causing treatment plants at Sembrong Timur and Sembrong Barat to be affected.

Heavy rainfalls that occurred in the past several days had increased the water level at the river slightly and the situation was still being monitored, he said, adding that the RM100mil Kahang dam was expected to be completed next year.

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