New studies to produce clean water

Dr Keizrul says the demand for clean water is expected to increase.

JOHOR BARU: A local university is conducting research on ways to apply a Japanese water pollution management technology in Johor to cater to the expected increase in demand for clean water.

GreenTech Malaysia chairman Datuk Paduka Dr Keizrul Abdullah said however, research for the technology was being conducted by Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) in order to be revised to suit the Johor water condition.

“With the emerging of mega development projects in Johor Baru, the demand for clean water is expected to be bigger,” he said when attending the Integrated Watershed Management Comprehensive Symposium IV in UTM here, on Dec 3.

Keizrul said that the research also included to find out whether the local water was suitable for the Japanese technology to be installed and for changes to be made accordingly.

“So far, we have identified several areas in Johor Baru to be tested and focused on for our research programme next year including Sungai Tebrau, Sungai Segget, Sungai Skudai and Sungai Kong Kong,” he added.

He said that the method, which was currently being used in Japan, had already been implemented in two pilot projects in Sungai Kerayong, Bukit Jalil and Sungai Melaka in Langkawi, recently.

He added that the Integrated Watershed or River Basin Management were suitable for Malaysian rivers as they are exposed to pollution from industrial and agricultural activities.

Meanwhile, UTM Water Research Alliance dean of research Prof Dr Zulkifli Yusop said that projects like the Refinery and Petrochemicals Integrated Development (Rapid) in Pengerang would threaten the natural water resources.

“If the rivers affected by pollution are not treated starting now, we will be facing a critical water supply towards 2025.

“Besides that, the government’s commitment to supply raw water to Singapore until 2061 takes up more than 50% of the total water abstraction from Sungai Johor,” he said.

Zulkifli added that to cater to the problem, the state government had taken proactive measures in developing two dams here including in Seluyut, Kota Tinggi and Sungai Endau.

He also added that recently, UTM has launched an Endowment Chair for Environmental Sustainability, which consists of three flagship researches, and one of them is on the Integrated River Basin Management for Sungai Johor.

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