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Wednesday April 23, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Wednesday April 23, 2014 MYT 8:21:39 AM
PETALING JAYA: Yes, it has been raining. But no, it has not helped raise the water level at the Sungai Selangor dam – the largest in the state and the main supplier in the Klang Valley.
The Malaysian Meteorological Department said unsuitable atmospheric conditions were partly the reason water levels at dams had not increased much despite cloud seeding.
Its atmospheric science and cloud-seeding division director Azhar Ishak said the department would continue to conduct cloud seeding in water catchment areas until the dams were at safe levels.
Explaining some of the problems the department faced, Azhar said: “We identify the areas for cloud seeding based on our observations but sometimes, by the time we get to these water catchment areas, the atmospheric conditions have changed and may not be suitable.
“When this happens, we go to the areas nearby and conduct the exercise. There has been rain in the water catchment areas, including Sungai Selangor. However, the amount of rainfall there is still insufficient.”
Sungai Selangor supplies water to 60% of Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Selangor.
However, the dam has been below 40% for the past few months. The water level is deemed critical if it dips below 30%.
According to the Selangor Water Management Authority website, water level at Sungai Selangor stood at 38.9% as of 8am yesterday.
Azhar admitted the present technology for cloud seeding was “old”.
He said the Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry, in collaboration with Universiti Putra Malaysia, would carry out research to improve it.
The ministry approved a two-year grant worth RM870,000 last week for the purpose.
As for the Thai “Royal Rainmaking Technology” which the Selangor government is planning to use to help ease the water crisis in the state, Azhar said: “We heard about the proposal but have not receive any instructions yet. Our responsibility at the moment is to ensure the water level in dams increases so we will continue with cloud seeding.”
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