A check on the Penang Water Supply Corporation’s (PBAPP) website showed the effective capacities of the Ayer Itam, Teluk Bahang and Mengkuang dams as of yesterday was down to 31.8%, 20.2% and 67.1% respectively.
PBAPP chief executive officer Datuk Jaseni Maidinsa said as such, the need to do cloud seeding before the next dry season in June was crucial.
“It’s a do-or-die mission, we must do cloud seeding during this inter-monsoon between now and May. The availability of clouds during this season is at its best and it will surely aid cloud-seeding operations,” he said.
He said in the meantime, PBAPP was doing all it could to preserve the water reserves by controlling release of water for domestic use.
Jaseni said the water crisis was something alarming because the main source for raw water in the northern region was Muda Dam, which had dropped to 8%.
“It is almost empty. How will they release water for the next padi planting season?” he asked.
State Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh said Penangites could expect a scorching inter-monsoon period.
He said this month, the northern region should get more rainfall with strong winds from the Indian Ocean and Andaman Sea next month.
“This rain, however, is not enough to wet the ground and fill our dams. That is why you feel the heat,” he said.
Phee agreed that cloud seeding was a “must” to prevent a water shortage in the whole northern region.
Despite the extreme day weather, Penang Botanic Gardens curator Dr Saw Leng Guan said the flora in the area was well maintained.
He said a team of workers were maintaining the gardens since the first day of the movement control order.
“We rotate our staff to maintain the place. The routine is still the same. They water the plants as usual.
“We invested a lot of time and effort to gather the plant and flower species in the garden so it will be a waste if we don’t take care of it properly,” he said.
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