Penangites warned of serious water shortage


  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 20 Feb 2019

Keeping cool with a coconut: People drinking fresh coconut water at a stall in Abu Siti Lane in George Town.

GEORGE TOWN: The Chinese New Year celebration is over but the hot and dry spell is here to stay right until May.

According to the Malaysian Meteorological Department’s website, the hot weather could be due to the El Nino phenomenon in the country.

It said the weather conditions were controlled by the northeast monsoon, with eight stations (main and auxiliary) now being put on alert mode.

Meanwhile, the Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) has raised the alarm following a drop in the water level at the Air Itam Dam by more than 24%.

The capacity recorded on Jan 1 was 92.2% but it dropped drastically to 67.3% on Monday.

At the Teluk Bahang Dam, the capacity has fallen from 79.1% to 78.8% during the same period, down by 3%.

“The red alert at Air Itam Dam is when the capacity dips to 30%, which means that the supply we have now can last for only a month.

“The lowest we recorded was during the Super El Nino in 2016 when it went down to 48.2%,” said PBAPP chief executive officer Datuk Jaseni Maidinsa.

He said PBAPP has implemented a dry weather water supply control measure to ensure the supply is sustainable until the wet season arrives.

“Consumers should avoid washing their cars or motorcycles frequently. If your vehicle is dirty, please use a bucket, sponge or wet cloth to clean it.

“Fix all leaking taps, pipes or toilet systems immediately.

“Please use water wisely during this hot and dry season,” he said yesterday.

Jaseni said the Air Itam Dam recorded only 94mm of rain, in comparison to Teluk Bahang Dam which had recorded a total of 172.5mm of rainfall since Jan 1.

Meanwhile, state Agriculture, Agro-based Industries, Rural Development and Health Committee chairman Dr Afif Bahardin advised people to get medical attention if they fall sick.

“Drink more water to keep yourselves hydrated and try to reduce outdoor activities,” he said.


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