(From Left to Right) Jason Ong teaching his grandchildren Ethan Ong,7yrs, Eliza Ong,6yrs and Joel Ong, 4yrs collecting water for the water rationing.
PETALING JAYA: The ongoing water rationing is causing hardship and frustration but it is the only way to cope with the crisis, say experts.
They also believe that the exercise would change the attitude of consumers who had been careless when using water.
Water and Energy Consumer Association of Malaysia secretary-general Foon Weng Lian said the awareness to conserve water was still low among consumers.
“The water rationing is a wake-up call for users to learn how to reduce their consumption and appreciate the true value of a continuous supply of clean and safe water,” he said.
Foon said rationing and water demand management were only short-term measures, adding that long-term planning was vital to prevent such crises from recurring.
Among the long-term plans were inter-state raw water transfers, reduction of non-revenue water rate, permanent gazetting of all water catchment areas, and the implementation of a holistic national water policy covering water resources, supply, demand and waste water.
Foon said rationing was the only option available to help cope with the shortage, adding that it was still too early to say that it had failed.
According to the Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry, people in Selangor were only using 7% less water even with rationing imposed in the state.
As of yesterday morning, the Sungai Selangor dam in Kuala Kubu Baru recorded a 37.31% capacity. Its critical level is 30%.
Environment and waste management specialist Dr Theng Lee Chong said water rationing needed to be done in a proper manner without upsetting the consumers.
“Rationing is needed because when the water level is low and supply to households is not controlled, consumers will use it like usual and will not make an effort to conserve it,” he said.
Dr Theng said Malaysians should learn a lesson from this crisis.