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Friday, 14 February 2014

Dry spell may lead to water rationing

Drying up: Government officials surveying the low water level at the Klang Gates Dam.

Drying up: Government officials surveying the low water level at the Klang Gates Dam.

KUALA LUMPUR: Dry days ahead may force the authorities to ration water supply to Selangor and the Klang Valley.

Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said the current water situation in the Klang Valley had reached the critical stage.

Unless rain replenishes Selangor’s dam soon, the authorities might have to limit the flow of water through the tap, he said.

The Selangor River Dam is currently down to 57.6% while the Klang Gates Dam is down to 58%, the lowest levels ever in the last 10 years.

“If the dry weather goes on, we have to implement demand side management,” Mahdzir told reporter­s after a tour of the Selangor River Dam in Kuala Kubu Baru yesterday morning.

Mahdzir warned that if there is no substantial rain any time soon, the water level at the Selangor River Dam might dip to 45% within 16 days.

Selangor River Dam releases about 1,600 million litres of water a day to augment natural flows in the river when there is little or no rain.

About two million water accounts are dependent on the Selangor River for water, accounting for 60% of water demand in the Klang Valley.

Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas) has issued a notice on unscheduled water disruption in 29 areas in Kuala Lumpur as the Sungai Langat Dam can no longer support the high water demand due to the hot weather.

The affected areas include Damansara, Taman Pertama, Bukit Pandan, Taman Bukit Anggerik, Taman Desa Baiduri, Taman Segar, Taman Billion, Taman Cheras Utama and Taman Alam Damai.

Syabas chief operating officer Datuk Lee Miang Koi said water flows from the Klang Gates Dam were already being limited as of two weeks ago.

He said that on normal days, the dam would release 170 million litres a day but it was now giving out only 113 million litres as a conservation measure.

Klang Gates Dam serves about 80,000 accounts in the Klang Valley.

In a related development, the Malaysian Water Association has raised concern over the shortage of water tankers should the water situa­tion worsen to a crisis level.

Its president Syed Mohamad Adnan Alhabshi said the fleet of tankers provided by Syabas could only help about 50,000 people at one time.

“Everybody should start con­serving water because if the dry weather is prolonged and there is a crisis, its effect will be very serious.

“The Government should also consider conducting cloud seeding at water catchment areas to ensure there is sufficient supply of water,” he said when contacted yesterday.

Syed Mohamad said Malaysians should start conserving water by taking shorter baths, not washing their cars, and to use less water when gardening.

“The average Malaysian uses 225 litres of water a day, but there is room for improvement. It would be better if we could reduce this number to 190 litres per person,” he said.

Related stories:

Residents worry over unannounced water cuts

Tags / Keywords: Lifestyle , water , dry tap , hot weather


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