GEORGE TOWN: Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) will spend about RM150mil to install a pipe to transfer water from the Air Itam dam to the Teluk Bahang dam.
Its chief executive officer Datuk Jaseni Maidinsa said although Friday’s flash floods was not due to the overflowing of Air Itam dam, the water at the dam increased by 25% overnight.
“This has never happened before and after looking at the pros and cons, PBA will be installing a pipe to pump water from Air Itam Dam to Teluk Bahang Dam, which has a bigger capacity.
“This is to lessen the impact of the floods due to dam overflow, and optimise the water from the Air Itam dam.
“Imagine if the Air Itam dam had overflowed due to the heavy rain on Friday, it would be devastating for Penang as there will be even more water flowing into Sungai Air Putih causing even more serious floods,” he said yesterday.
Jaseni said currently when the water overflows, its final destination is the sea, and this is a waste as PBA could have earned revenue.
He added the work to install the pipeline measuring between 7km and 9km is expected to be completed in two years.
“We are still at the planning stage. We have to do an engineering study to confirm the best route, tender and other works.
“The study would normally take six months and laying the pipes would take about 18 months.”
Jaseni said the 270mm of rainfall recorded on Friday was almost the rainfall volume in a month.
“Fortunately, the Air Itam dam’s level on Friday was only 74%, so it could take in more water.
“We also have our dam management practice to ensure the water level at the Air Itam Dam does not exceed 75% during the rainy season” he said.
In Kedah, the flood situation has improved with 231 people still staying at five relief centres in Langkawi, Pendang and Bandar Baharu.
State Disaster Management Committee’s secretariat coordinator Kapt (Civil Defence) Saifuddin Abdullah said a new flood relief centre was opened at Cenderawasih Hall in Pendang.