All set for ‘polluter pays’ principle

Izham: Selangor is confident of implementing the PPP next year.

THE state government, through the Selangor Water Management Authority (LUAS), is looking at implementing a “polluter pays” principle (PPP) next year as an enforcement measure against culprits polluting water sources.

“LUAS is in the midst of fine-tuning the details as there are some rules in the related enactment that need to be corrected before the PPP can be implemented.

“We are confident that the PPP can be implemented next year,” said Selangor infrastructure and public amenities, agriculture modernisation and agro-based industry committee chairman Izham Hashim.

Selangor Drainage and Irrigation Department contract workers removing dead fish from Sungai Damansara in Shah Alam. The incident in June raised concerns on river pollution. — FilepicSelangor Drainage and Irrigation Department contract workers removing dead fish from Sungai Damansara in Shah Alam. The incident in June raised concerns on river pollution. — Filepic

He was answering a supplementary question by Datuk Dr Ahmad Yunus Hairi (PN-Sijangkang) on the state government’s plans to have PPP, zero discharge or other initiatives to reduce water and river pollution in Selangor.

The Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment explains PPP as “the commonly accepted practice that those who produce pollution should bear the costs of managing it to prevent damage to human health or the environment”.

To Ahmad Yunus’ earlier question on the Sungai Rasau Water Treatment Plant’s (WTP) status, Izham said the project was aimed at strengthening water supply in Selangor, especially in the Klang district.

“When it is fully completed, it will have a water production capacity of 1,400 MLD (million litres per day),” said Izham.

“As of Nov 10, tenders for phase one of the Sungai Rasau WTP are closed and being evaluated.

“Construction work is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2022 and phase one is expected to be completed by Dec 31, 2024.

“Besides constructing a WTP, source work also needs to be done at the water inlet (muka sauk).

“This will require the Federal Government’s cooperation and is at discussion stage.”

Saari Sungib (PH-Hulu Kelang) and Dr Idris Ahmad (PH-Ijok) also asked if the state government had considered tapping into other options such as underground water and rainwater as alternative sources.

“These alternative water sources were considered but deemed not necessary for now,” said Izham.

“An audit was done on underground water sources, but the problem is a lack of suitable space to expand it on a large scale.

“Even if it were to be used, the pump capacity is only one MLD, which is not enough for Selangor.”

On using rainwater or greywater, Izham said such water was acidic and unsuitable for drinking.

“A key problem is construction of infrastructure to channel greywater.

“It requires a secondary piping system as the existing piping system cannot be used,” he said.

“I have discussed with the state exco members for local councils and housing on introducing rainwater harvesting at certain housing projects, but this requires further considerations due to the extra costs needed for the piping system.”

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