Hoping showers will solve water woes

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 03 Apr 2014

PETALING JAYA: Although water reserve levels are dipping at all Selangor dams, the Meteorological Department has “high hopes” that the water shortage will be resolved soon, with more “showers and storms” expected this month.

Department central forecasting office director Muhammad Helmi Abdullah said the intermonsoon season which had just begun would bring rain for about 20 days or “two-thirds of the month”.

“Most of the rain is expected in the west coast but we also expect more rain in the inland areas of the east coast of the peninsula as well as in Sabah and Sarawak,” he said.

The fourth phase of the water rationing exercise was announced on Tuesday by the National Water Services Commis­sion (SPAN) despite the rain over the past two weeks.

Muhammad Helmi said many of the dams were not filling up because much of the rain was not falling in catchment areas.

“It is difficult to tell when the rain will fall over water catchment areas or the dams, but we are targeting these areas through cloud-seeding operations.

“We calculate the movement of the clouds in terms of how fast they move and in which direction, and plan cloud-seeding operations based on these data.

“The recent rain has been a combination of rain induced by cloud seeding and natural rain,” he said yesterday.

Cloud seeding, he said, could also increase the volume of water in natural rain.

The frequency of the operations, however, depended on the availability of aircraft and the weather.

Another reason the recent rains have failed to increase water levels at the dams is because more water is absorbed into the land because of the long dry spell.

“As it was dry for a long period, the land is very dry and more water seeps through the ground than usual, so more water is lost,” he said.

According to the Selangor Water Management Authority (Luas) website, the water storage levels at the Sungai Selangor Dam had dropped to 36.67% of its capacity yesterday, close to the critical point of 30%.

The other dams have also seen lower water levels than the earlier day – Batu was at 90.08% yesterday, Klang Gates 50.04%, Langat 48.74%, Semenyih 71.12% , Sungai Tinggi 61.39% and Tasik Subang 87.70% .

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