KUCHING: Contingency measures are being taken by the authorities to ensure sufficient water supply during the current dry spell, according to Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Alfred Jabu.
He said there was currently “no cause for concern” in Kuching as the reservoir at the Batu Kitang weir was able to supplement the Public Works Department’s (PWD) water sources at present.
“The Kuching Water Board has devised a manual method to raise the weir from the present level to 1.5m and further extending it, if need be, to 2.5m.
“Should there be no rain, the reservoir at the weir can meet demand for two weeks. In the worst scenario, if there is a continued dry spell for two weeks there is no danger where water supply in Kuching is concerned,” he told reporters after chairing a state disaster relief management committee meeting here yesterday.
Jabu said the Welfare Department and PWD were taking steps to deliver water to areas likely to face a shortage, particularly during the coming Hari Raya celebration.
“Where there is normal water reticulartion system, we will ensure that this is sufficient. But in areas where there is no way to deliver water, the Welfare Department has been asked to increase the supply from four boxes to 10 boxes per family in order to ensure that during the festive season there is no shortage of water,” he said, adding that at present only isolated areas were reported to be facing water shortage.
The dry spell is expected to continue until September, with monthly rainfall for July, August and September forecast to be slightly lower than usual at 150mm to 300mm.
However, Jabu said the forecast was not as bad as first thought and severe drought was not expected.
He said there was no need for cloud seeding to be done at present although it was discussed by the committee.
“We have explored the contingency and how much notice is required to notify the relevant authorities to prepare cloud seeding if need be. Everything is fully geared for cloud seeding but at the moment there is no necessity,” he said.
In a statement, the committee cautioned the public not to waste water or carry out open burning during the dry spell.
It also advised people to prevent heatstroke by drinking enough water.