Malaysia, Johor: Buffer Zones To Be Extended To Stop Water Pollution In Dam, Catchment Areas

Bernama 8 May 17;

ISKANDAR PUTERI, May 8 (Bernama) -- The buffer zones in 14 gazetted dam and catchment areas in Johor will be extended to solve the problem of water pollution.

Chairman of the Johor Public Works, Rural and Regional Committee, Datuk Hasni Mohammad said the buffer zones would now be extended to 500 metres from the current 50 metres.

"However, this extension is still in the proposal stage by the Johor Water Regulatory Body (Bakaj) and will be submitted to the state government soon," he said at the Johor State Assembly sitting in Kota Iskandar here today.

He was replying to a question from Dr Sheikh Ibrahim Salleh (PAS-Sungai Abong) who asked about the state government's proposal to extend the buffer zones in dam and water catchment areas as a way to solve the problem of pollution.

Hasni said the supply of raw water in the dams and catchment areas must be maintained so that the supply of raw water to the treatment plants always met the standards of raw water set by the Health Ministry.

Hasni added that Bakaj would implement the Integrated River Basin Management in Sungai Johor to improve the management of raw water sources and solve the problem of river pollution.

Replying to a question from Datuk Seri Adham Baba (BN-Pasir Raja), he said for a start, a study would be conducted in the third quarter of this year to identify and record the sources of pollution in the Sungai Johor buffer areas.

"The study will also determine the rate of pollutants which can be released in Sungai Johor so as to control pollution and improve water quality," he said. Hasni said in the second quarter of this year, Bakaj will install three water quality surveillance units in Sungai Johor to monitor pollution and as an early warning to water treatment plants to take action to prevent worse water disruption.

He said since early last year, the state government had frozen licences for all sand-mining activities in Sungai Johor.

The move was successful in reducing pollution in Sungai Johor in terms of turbidity and suspended solid wastes.


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