THE state government has in place a long-term expansion plan to produce and ensure the supply of water for Perak’s citizens.
In a speech read out by Perak Water Committee Chairman Datuk Zainol Fadzi Paharudin, Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir said the state will continue developing infrastructure to expand the capability to produce more water to be supplied to households, industries and other sectors.
“We have a 30-year long-term plan together with a three-year plan for our operational expenses (opex) and capital expenditure (capex) plans.
“Some RM950mil has been budgeted for opex and RM805mil for capex under the long-term plan,” he said.
“The capex will cover maintenance works and construction of new plants, the installation and replacement of pipes, building of retention ponds and cost of running a programme to lessen non-revenue water,” he added.
The speech was read during the launch of the Kampung Senawar Water Treatment Plant by Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah in Kuala Kangsar on Tuesday.
Zambry was unable to be at the event as he was part of a Malaysian delegation invited to take part in the Riyadh International Book Fair 2017 in Saudi Arabia.
He will also present a paper on strategic ideas in development during the 10-day event, which began on March 8.
In his speech Zambry said the three-year business plan for water between 2016 and 2018 calls for increasing the production capacity by 222 million litres daily.
“We will also be installing up to 300km of pipes and increase storage capacity by an extra 57 million litres.
“Though the management and preparation of infrastructure needs large investments, borne fully through the sale of water, the state is committed to providing sufficient water at a reasonable price to the people,” he said.
He added that throughout the 10th Malaysia Plan from 2011 to 2015, the Perak Water Board (LAP) spent RM573mil to develop its infrastructure.
“LAP also improved and increased its water production capacity by 325 million litres daily, installed pipes totalling 700km and increased its storage capacity to 57 million litres to ensure the people get sufficient quality water,” he said.
Zambry said as of last year, 758,000 people in the state received water supply service.
“The number of customers increased by 2.26% and water usage has also risen by 4.7%.
“The current production reserves stand at 35% with a capacity of about 1.8 billion litres of water produced daily, compared to the demand for 1.3 billion litres of water,” he said, adding that the production reserves are also enough to cater for the industrial sector.
“We need to continue improving our services and water supply infrastructure to attract investors and spur economic development,” he added.
On the RM46.2mil Kampung Senawar plant, which began construction in August 2014, Zambry said it was completed in April last year.
He said the plant uses a technology called “inclined plates” for its treatment process, which is smaller in size compared to conventional treatment plants.
“The plant is also using a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system to control and monitor operations,” he said.
Zambry also said demand for clean water in Kuala Kangsar and its surrounding areas stands at about 43 million litres and it could increase to 66 million litres by 2030.
“The current water supply comes from the Kota Lama Kiri and Padang Rengas treatment plants,” he added.
Zambry also said some 11,420 families are benefitting from a water subsidy programme to get free water of up to 20 cubic metres.
He said LAP has spent some RM8mil on the free water programme, which is also part of LAP’s corporate social responsibility efforts since 2008.
In Kuala Kangsar alone, 694 families are eligible for the programme, he added.
In his speech, Sultan Nazrin urged the public to be responsible about conserving and preserving water sources while optimising water usage without wastage.
He also called on the people to keep all water sources clean and to refrain from throwing rubbish into drains and irrigation areas.
Also present for the opening of the plant were Raja Permaisuri Perak Tuanku Zara Salim, Raja Muda Perak Raja Jaafar Raja Muda Musa, Raja Puan Besar Perak Raja Nor Mahani Raja Shahar Shah, Raja DiHilir Perak Raja Iskandar Dzulkarnain Sultan Idris A’afifullah Shah, and Raja Puan Muda Perak Tunku Soraya Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah.
Other dignitaries in attendance included state executive councillors, State Secretary Datuk Seri Abdul Puhat Mat Nayan, Barisan Nasional state assemblymen and government department heads.