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Sunday, 3 August 2014

Disused mining pool water safe to be used

PETALING JAYA: There’s no need for water rationing in Selangor yet as there is enough water from disused mining pools to replenish Sungai Selangor, said the executive councillor in charge of infrastructure, Dr Ahmad Yunus Hairi.

“We have identified 20 ponds in Bestari Jaya, tested the water from nine of them, and found the water from these safe to be pumped into Sungai Selangor,” he told The Star yesterday.

“We meet regularly with the National Water Services Commission (SPAN) and all relevant agencies along with water concessionaires, and any decision, including whether rationing is necessary, would be a collective one,” said Dr Ahmad Yunus as he sought to allay fears that the state is not doing enough to avert another water crisis.

Dr Ahmad Yunus pointed out that cloud seeding is being conducted daily and had resulted in rainfall.

“We are also considering some water conservation measures which we will announce next week,” he said.

Selangor Water Management Authority (Luas) director Md Khairi Selamat said in a statement yesterday that the Sungai Selangor and Sungai Tinggi dams were releasing 700 and 500 million litres of water a day (MLD) into Sungai Selangor.

He said an additional 500MLD was also being pumped from the disused mining pools, and this will be increased to 800MLD next week.

“The water from these pools can provide supply for five months until the monsoon season in October,” he said in an apparent reference to the upcoming northeast monsoon from November to March.

The monsoon brings heavy rainfall, particularly to the east coast states of Peninsular Malaysia and western Sarawak.

Consumer groups who fear an impending crisis want SPAN to step in immediately as the Sungai Selangor dam level drops to 33.27% of its available capacity.

Sungai Selangor supplies 62% of raw water to the Klang Valley and Putrajaya, and the last rationing exercise between February and March was imposed when the dam level dipped to 37%.

Environmental Protection Society Malaysia president Nithi Nesadurai said there is a need for urgent action to be taken. Nithi said SPAN cannot wait for Selangor or Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, who is distracted by moves to oust him, to decide if rationing is necessary.

“As water rationing is an unpopular decision with the public, we are concerned the Mentri Besar, who is in the middle of a political crisis, may be constrained from taking this step as it will not go down well,” said Nithi.

Klang MP Charles Santiago said water professionals had suggested that the Sungai Selangor dam level could drop to the critical level of 30% by next week, and that existing raw water reserves would be used up in the next three to four weeks.

“The state has to immediately ban all car washing activities and start water conservation education,” he said.

Related stories:

Catchment areas need better protection

Catchments not retaining water

Tags / Keywords: Selangor , enough water from disused mining pools for two months


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