RM30bil investment in water infrastructure needed

THE public is urged to save water in the face of climate change which has a negative effect on water resources.

National Water Services Commission (SPAN) chairman Charles Santiago (pic) highlighted an alarming decline in the carrying capacity of rivers all over the nation.

He said there had been a 7% reduction in the carrying capacity of Sungai Muda, a vital water source serving Penang, Kedah, and Perlis.

“We need to conserve water,” Santiago stressed, advocating for measures to reduce non-revenue water which has contributed to a staggering RM8bil in losses over a five-year period from 2018 to 2022.

He warned that without urgent repairs to address pipeline issues, this figure could double to RM18bil.

“Addressing these pressing issues requires significant investment in water infrastructure,” he said.

“We are proposing a budget of RM30bil over three years.”

The funds are needed for upgrading existing infrastructure and developing new water sources to mitigate the impact of potential water crises.

“We have to make every effort to increase our water resources,” he said during SPAN’s Chinese New Year celebration.

Meanwhile, SPAN commission member Derek Fernandez raised the issue of water distribution inefficiencies.

“Malaysia has one of the cheapest water rates but we still don’t get enough water to the right places,” Fernandez said.

He attributed the challenges to unpredictable rainfall patterns and widespread pollution.

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