Minister: NRW rate must be reduced

KUANTAN: The government aims to reduce the rate of non-revenue water (NRW) to 31% by 2020.

The national average for NRW is 35% and one way to reduce this is the mass replacement of pipes, said Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Dr Xavier Jayakumar.

In 2017, an average of 5,929 million litres of treated water – more than enough to sustain the water demand in Selangor and Johor – was lost nationwide a day.

“One of the main causes of NRW is asbestos cement (AC) type pipes, which are still prevalent in the distribution system at nearly 27% or 41,560km, according to 2017 statistics. These pipes rupture easily.

“Kedah charted the highest use of AC pipes at 53%, followed by Perlis and Kelantan at 49% each. These states also have the highest rate of NRW in Malaysia with Kedah at 48%, Perlis at 63% and Kelantan at 49%.

“The rate of NRW in Pahang is also high at 48%, even though AC pipe usage is only 26%,” he said after opening the Molecor (SEA) Sdn Bhd manufacturing plant in Gebeng here yesterday.

Dr Xavier said he had been informed that oriented unplasticised polyvinyl chloride (PVC-O) pipes were more suitable for the existing water supply system as it was cost effective, could minimise leakages and had longer durability.

“Up to 450km of PVC-O pipes have been installed in 10 states involving water operators such as Ranhill SAJ, Syarikat Air Negeri Sembilan, Pengurusan Air Sela­ngor and Air Kelantan Sdn Bhd,” he said.

He added that the government welcomed the involvement of private companies like Molecor in helping to reduce NRW through the production of PVC-O pipes.

“We are using the open tender process for all water services. Molecor (SEA) is welcome to take part in the process.

“It is up to each state and water supply company to select,” said Dr Xavier.

Molecor (SEA) chairman Datuk Low Keng Kok said the National Water Service Commission had app­roved the company’s Hypro PVC-O pipes for use in Malaysia’s water sector.

Molecor (SEA) has operated in Gebeng since 2015 with Molecor Tecnologia Spain as its principal and technology partner.

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