Penangites get reminder as dry spell leaves dams half-full


  • Nation
  • Thursday, 03 Mar 2005

PENANG: Penangites have been advised to conserve water as the volume in six dams here has dropped to half. 

The Penang Water Supply Corporation Sdn Bhd (PBAPP) said that at present, there was no emergency but it was good to plan ahead.  

To conserve water, it suggested that: 

  • washing of cars and motorcycles be done only when necessary, and with buckets of water instead of using the hose; 

  • washing machines be operated only with a full load; 

  • taps be turned off when soaping one’s body, soaping dishes, soaping hands and brushing teeth; and 

  • leaky taps and pipes be repaired quickly. 

    A PBAPP spokesman said that the drop in the dams’ water levels was due to the hot weather, which also caused the people to consume more water. 

    DRYING UP: The volume of water in the Air Itam dam has dropped, revealing caked mud and a bare hillslope on the left.-Starpic by Chin Cheng Yeang.

    The total capacity of the Teluk Bahang, Air Itam, Mengkuang, Bukit Panchor, Cherok To’kun and Berapit dams is 46 billion litres. It is now down to 22 billion litres.  

    “There is still sufficient water supply for the next two months if the dry spell continues. The public should not be overly worried, because the situation is not critical,” said the spokesman. 

    Penang was hit with a dry spell last week with temperatures of up to 36°C recorded, but according to the Meteorological Services Department, occasional thunderstorms and showers were expected to occur until the end of this month, which was the start of the inter-monsoon season.  

    “There’ll be more frequent rain and thunderstorms during the inter-monsoon season which will last until end of May,” said a spokesman. 

    Some other states have also experienced an increase in water usage and lowering of the levels in their dams, but reported their situation as being quite normal. 

    Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas) public relations manager Raja Emylia Raja Lope Ahmad said that water at the six dams in the Klang Valley was at stable levels. 

    In Pahang, Waterworks Department director Datuk Ismail Mat Noor said two or three rivers had recorded a slight drop in their water levels due to the hot season, but added that consumers still had abundant water supply. 

    In Johor, downpours in most places, except for Mersing, had helped to fill up reservoirs in the state.  

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