JOHOR BARU: Johor has assured Singapore that the Linggiu Dam has sufficient water to supply 250 million gallons a day (mgd) to the island.
State Public Works, Rural and Regional Development Committee chairman Datuk Hasni Mohamad said ongoing measures were being carried out to increase the capacity of nearby rivers or catchment areas to ensure sufficient water in the dam.
He said this was done by introducing barrage or offsite storage, known as off-river storage (ORS), where the river waterway is enlarged to store water as well.
He said plans were carried out with the intention to increase the water storage to contain water not only in the river but to also create a catchment within the river.
“In Linggiu’s case, we focus on the rivers around it like the Johor River and Linggiu River so that efforts to pump water into the dam can be done,” he said yesterday.
Singapore authorities have expressed concern and are keeping a close eye on the situation in Linggiu, which the island republic depends on as a water source, as it has dropped drastically over the past few years.
Its Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan reportedly said there was a significant risk that Linggiu might fall further in 2017 if it turned out to be a dry year and its Public Utilities Board (PUB) would not be able to abstract water from the dam.
The 1962 Water Agreement entitles the PUB to draw up to 250 mgd from the Johor River and in return, Johor is entitled to a daily supply of treated water of up to 2% (or 5mgd) of the raw water supplied to Singapore.
Meanwhile, Hasni admitted that it was worrying when the water level in the dam hit a low of 25% of its full capacity recently but assured that the situation in the state was under control.
The continuous rain over the past few days had a silver lining as it helped increase the level in the Johor River to 5.9m, he said.
He said the state was keeping a close watch on the situation because if the rain continued to fall and the river level increased to the warning level of 7.5m, water could overflow if not properly managed and could cause floods in Kota Tinggi.
He said the Juasir Dam in Segamat and Lebam Dam in Kota Tinggi had overflowed due to the rain but the Johor Water Regulatory Body was handling it and the overall water situation in Johor was considered manageable.