Malaysia: Johor needs better management of water resources to prevent crisis

ZAZALI MUSA The Star 31 Oct 16;

JOHOR BARU: A water crisis is looming in the state if the Federal and Johor Governments fail to find long-term solutions to overcome and manage existing water-related problems in Johor by 2018.

State Public Works, Rural and Regional Development committee chairman Datuk Hasni Mohammad said Johor has to come out with plans to ensure there was sufficient water supply in the state beyond 2018.

“The clock is ticking fast and we have to put in more effort to better manage our water resources to prevent the crisis from happening,” he said after witnessing the signing of Corporate Integrity Pledge between SAJ Holdings Sdn Bhd and its 350 business associates at Persada Johor Internatio-nal Convention Centre here.

Also present at the event were SAJ Holdings chief executive officer Abdul Wahab Abdul Hamid and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Johor director Datuk Simi Abdul Ghani.

Hasni said if the water crisis took place in Johor, Iskandar Regional Development Authority would no longer be able to attract new investments into Iskandar Malaysia from 2018 onwards.

“We don’t want this crisis to happen or else Iskandar Malaysia will not develop into an international metropolis by 2025 as planned,” added Hasni.

He said the authorities could no longer depend on the rivers in the state as the main source of raw water, as most of the rivers were polluted due to human economic activities.

Hasni said the existing 1,700 million-litre water production capacity, daily, would not be able to cater to demand from domestic and industrial users especially in south Johor where Iskandar Malaysia is located.

“About 40% of the total production is being channelled to Iskan-dar Malaysia and this demand for water is growing,” he added.

Hasni said plans were already in place to start exploring underground water reserves in the Mersing and Kluang districts as new water resources for Johor.

He said the state government would allocate funds to conduct studies by Universiti Teknologi Malaysia and Japan Water Forum for underground water exploration.

“At the same time, consumers should also use water wisely and prevent wastage otherwise the efforts taken by the relevant authorities to prevent the crisis will go down the drain,” said Hasni.