PARTICIPANTS from all walks of life learnt about the importance of water and how they should use water wisely during the World Water Day 2017 celebrations at the Penang Botanic Gardens’ Quarry Park.
Visitors checked out the various exhibitions on display during the event on Saturday.
There were games and other activities such as a colouring and painting competition.
In his speech, Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) chief executive officer Datuk Jaseni Maidinsa said Penangites must reduce their domestic water consumption by 10% in 2017 to ensure water supply sufficiency until 2020.
“Last year, the total water consumption in Penang amounted to 827 million litres per day (MLD). In 2006, it was 684 MLD. As such, in the past 10 years, our water consumption has increased by about 21%.
“It should be noted that domestic consumption in Penang accounted for 59.4% of the total water consumption in 2016 which is more water than all the industries, hotels and commercial enterprises that operate in Penang.
“As such, a reduction in domestic consumption will have a large impact on water conservation in Penang,” he said.
Jaseni noted that in 2016, the per capita domestic consumption in Penang was 286 litres/capita/day (l/c/d).
“Although there was a drop of five l/c/d as compared with 291 l/c/d for 2015, Penang’s per capita domestic consumption was still the highest in Malaysia last year.
“The 286 l/c/d is 36.8% higher than the national average of 209 l/c/d. It is 93.2% higher than Singapore’s average of 148 l/c/d,” he said.
Jaseni added that Penang’s average domestic water tariff for the first 35,000 litres per month was only RM0.32 per 1,000 litres.
“This is the lowest average domestic water tariff in Malaysia. The national average in Malaysia is RM0.70 per 1,000 litres, or 118% higher.
“It cost PBAPP RM91mil in subsidies to sustain this people-friendly domestic tariff. Since PBAPP re-invests most of its operational profits every year, this RM91mil could have been allocated for water supply infrastructure projects to secure Penang’s future water supply,” Jaseni said.
He said the most compelling reason to save water at home is Penang’s high dependency on only one raw water resource — Sungai Muda.
“Sungai Muda can only meet Penang’s water demand until 2020 based on our current trend of high water consumption. More than 80% of Penang’s raw water is extracted from this river daily.
“Based on the 286 l/c/d statistic for 2016, a 10% reduction would amount to 28.6 litres per person per day. This would reduce per capita consumption to about 257 l/c/d,” he said.
Jaseni added that the easiest and most convenient way for consumers to “automatically” save water is to install water saving devices (WSDs) in their taps, shower heads, faucets, toilet flush systems, washing machines and dishwashers.” with special fittings that reduce water consumption,” he added.
The World Water Day 2017 event was launched by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.
Among those present were Water Watch Penang president Prof Dr Chan Ngai Weng and state exco members Phee Boon Poh and Lim Hock Seng.