Don: Upgrade drainage system in city area to plug flood woes

A file pic of the recent flash flood in Jalan P. Ramlee, Penang.

THE Penang government must upgrade its drainage system, especially within the city area, to avoid repeated flash floods.

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) centre of tropical geo-engineering director Prof Dr Edy Tonnizam Mohamad said excessive rainfall in the last several weeks had caused flash floods in several parts of the country.

However, he said in an interview in Johor Baru on Saturday, Penang was struck by flash floods and landslides.

He added that the drainage system in Penang could no longer sustain the high amount of water.

Dr Edy said the various developments taking place in Penang had caused the drainage system to overflow during heavy rainfall.

Citing the smart tunnel system in Kuala Lumpur which had helped reduce flash floods in the city, he urged the state government to upgrade its drainage system as well.

As for Johor’s water woes, Dr Edy said they were hoping that groundwater would resolve the situation.

He pointed out that ground-water was less contaminated and not influenced by changes in the climate.

Dr Edy said the university’s research into this was expected to begin next year, adding that UTM has already identified 14 groundwater sources.

“We hope that from the exploration and exploitation, it will be able to become an alternative water source for the Johor government, instead of relying on rivers or catchments areas for all the supply,” he said.

Based upon a study by the Japan International Cooperation Agency in the 1980s, he said there was more than 5,000 billion cubic meters of groundwater storage in the country.

Malaysia has yet to fully utilise this water source compared to countries such as Thailand, China, Austria and Denmark, he said.

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