SEREMBAN: Consumers in Rembau and Tampin districts have been told to use water prudently as the raw water supply at the Gemencheh dam has fallen to the critical level.
Water concessionaire for the state Syarikat Air Negeri Sembilan (SAINS) said the water level had dipped to 98m, some 12m lower than the normal level.
Water level at the dam, which supplies 28.39 million litres of water per day to some 15,000 households in both the districts, had been falling despite wet weather in the state in recent weeks.
Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan said the dam now had supply for the next 40 days.
“Although the level has not fallen to minimum or dangerous levels, we cannot afford to be wasteful.
“We need to exercise caution and hope raw water supply is replenished the soonest,” he said, adding that the state government had already applied for grants from the federal authorities for contingency plans.
He said the state administration was planning to either pump water from Sungai Jelai, which was about 7.5km away, or build another water treatment facility in Sawah Raja near Rembau.
“If we decide to lay the pipes and draw water from Sungai Jelai, it will take us between five and six months.
“But if we build another plant in Sawah Raja, then it can take us up to three years,” he said, adding that if a new plant was built, consumers in Rembau would get their supply from there while the Gemencheh dam would supply water to Tampin.
Mohamad said one of the contingency plans had to be implemented as the Gemencheh dam could no longer supply water to both districts.
“The two rivers which supply raw water to the dam have almost dried up, and this is the root of the problem.
“The fact that the dam is nestled between oil palm estates is another problem as these trees consume plenty of water,” he said.
On a separate matter, Mohamad said the state government would make the reconstruction of the 39km Seremban-Port Dickson railway line project a priority under the 11th Malaysia Plan.
The Seremban-Port Dickson line has been closed since July 2008 following the derailment of a freight train transporting diesel from a refinery in Port Dickson to Ipoh.