‘Water cut is fake news, keep on washing hands’


A view of the water level at the Ayer Itam Dam in Penang yesterday.— Photo: LIM BENG TATT/The Star

THERE will be enough water supply for Penangites, assured Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) in response to fake news about water cut.

Its chief executive officer Datuk Jaseni Maidinsa said PBAPP has always been drawing water from the Mengkuang Dam in Bukit Mertajam but it varies daily depending on the levels of Sungai Muda.

“We draw down between 20 and 100 million litres of water per day (MLD) and we have enough water in Mengkuang Dam to do this, ” he said.

The effective capacity at Ayer Itam Dam yesterday was 37.3%, Teluk Bahang Dam at 23.0% and Mengkuang Dam at 69.4%.

The effective capacities at all three dams were slightly higher on March 9, standing at 42.7% at Ayer Itam Dam, 26.8% at Teluk Bahang Dam and 70.0% at Mengkuang Dam.

“Because of Mengkuang Dam, there will be no water problems since it makes sure we have enough water to be treated at the Sungai Dua Water Treatment Plant which supplies more than 80% of the state’s water supply.

“PBAPP is drawing down on the strategic reserves of the 73.5 billion litre Mengkuang Dam to complement raw water abstraction from Sungai Muda, ” added Jaseni.

Sungai Muda is the primary raw water resource for Penang and southern Kedah.

More than 80% of Penang’s raw water is abstracted from Sungai Muda daily before it is being treated at the Sungai Dua Water Treatment Plant and distributed to water consumers in Seberang Prai and on the island.

Jaseni also reassured that there will be no water supply issue during the movement control order (MCO) until April 14.

“As recommended by the Health Ministry, people should always wash their hands for 20 seconds and take care of their hygiene.

“PBAPP will ensure that there will be good quality water supply around the clock in the state to curb Covid-19, ” he said.

Jaseni also clarified that the water supply will not be cut as viralled in a WhatsApp voice message.

The man in the voice message said the condition was severe and advised the public to store water in buckets.

“This is fake news, water supply will be sufficient, ” said Jaseni.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) announced that the monsoon transition phase is expected to begin on March 27 and will continue until mid-May this year.

“The beginning of this phase marks the end of the northeast monsoon which began on Oct 24 last year.

“During this phase, several regions will receive weak winds from all directions which is conducive for the formation of thunderstorms.

“During the monsoon transition phase, the prevailing weathe r conditions will be thunderstorms and heavy rainfall along with strong winds, especially in the late afternoon and early evening in most of the states on the west coast and inland of peninsular Malaysia, western Sabah and western regions and central Sarawak.

“These weather conditions can potentially cause flash floods and damage to structures that are not strong, ” it said in a statement

The public is advised to be more vigilant during this period and pay attention to weather forecasts and warnings issued by MetMalaysia through its website, the myCuaca application and on social media.

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