Better management needed

Hasni (second from right) visiting the Upper Layang Dam here in Pasir Gudang on Sunday. — NUR AISYAH MAZALAN/The Star

PASIR GUDANG: Johor government is trying to find new water sources to address the increasing demand in the state.

Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad said the state government was conducting a study to identify potential water sources that could be used as an alternative to the existing reservoirs here.

“Johor is expected to attract more people in the future due to its economic prosperity, which will provide thousands of jobs.

“Hence, the water demand will increase drastically in the next decade, ” he said in his speech after launching the World Water Observation Day here.

He added that at present, the state’s existing water sources were limited while water from polluted sources was expensive to treat.

Hasni said issues related to water shortage had become one of the pressing challenges faced by the public today.

“The best solution when dealing with this issue is to have smart and organised water management.

“The fundamental problem is not the resource itself as water is likely to remain abundant enough even for a more populated Earth.

“The problems are managerial or more precisely, how to withstand economic, cultural and political pressures in managing water resources, ” he opined.

He noted that the average domestic water use in Johor was 216 litres per capita per day and it was expected to increase every year.

“The Federal Government aims to reduce domestic water use for each Malaysian to 180 litres a day by 2025.

“The current 226 litres average daily consumption by each Malaysian is far higher than the one recommended by the United Nations, which is 165 litres, ” he highlighted, and urged the public to use water sparingly.

Hasni also said that efficient water management was not the responsibility of the state government alone but required the involvement of the relevant agencies.

According to a 2018 report quoting the Johor Water Resources Study 2010-2060, the demand for water in Johor will increase to 3,257 million litres per day by 2028 from 1,507 million litres per day in 2010.

When contacted, water utility company SAJ Ranhill’s chief executive officer Nor Ifuan Md Nor welcomed the state government’s initiative to look for new water sources.

He said the water consumption in Johor had increased from 212 litres per capita a day in 2017 to 216 litres in 2018.

“Based on reports produced by the National Water Service Commission (SPAN), water consumption in Johor saw a slight increase from 2017 to 2018.

“Meanwhile, based on our data, there was a 25% increase in water consumption during the movement control order (MCO), to 29.1 cubic metres per account from 23.3cu m per account on normal days, ” he revealed.

He added that there were currently 10 reservoirs across the state which were fed by rivers, some of which had become increasingly polluted due to human activities such as dumping of industrial waste.

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