States on alert for water pollution


  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 09 Sep 2020

Back in business: After the water disruption in the Klang Valley has eased, most businesses have resumed, including car wash outlets.

PETALING JAYA: The water crisis in the Klang Valley has prompted other states to pay close attention to their water resources and if necessary, take proactive measures to protect them.

In Johor, the state government will periodically conduct checks on the state’s raw water supply to ensure they are at adequate levels and are safe for usage.

Johor Health and Environment Committee chairman R. Vidyanathan said steps had also been taken by the state Environment Department and Irrigation and Drainage Department to monitor the pollution levels of the water.

“The raw water in the state currently sits at a satisfactory level and through monitoring and checks conducted as often as possible, we can take the necessary action when needed, ” he said.

He also proposed that awareness programmes be run more aggressively in the state to educate the public about the shared responsibilities of keeping the rivers clean.

“This responsibility does not only rest on government agencies and departments.

“The public should also bear the responsibility and refrain from dumping rubbish or polluting the rivers, ” said Vidyanathan.

In Penang, the state government is keeping a close watch on its main source of water supply and water catchment areas, especially in Sungai Muda.

State Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh said among the measures were to ensure the state’s water source was protected and security at water reservoirs was enhanced.

“Our main water source comes from Sungai Muda, which flows through a lot of territories such as industrial and plantation areas.

“What we do is to maintain engagement with the related stakeholders like industrial entrepreneurs, farmers and planters so that they will always be responsible in discharging waste, ” he said.

He added that the state government was looking at tapping into Sungai Perak as its second raw water source as part of a

long-term plan.

Phee said everyone in the public, private and government agencies must ensure the state water source was safe from contamination.

In Negri Sembilan, state exco member S. Veerapan said the state authorities would start having 24-hour patrols during festivals and long weekends to prevent the dumping of scheduled waste in public places, especially rivers.

The Repah assemblyman said personnel from various government agencies would be conducting round-the-clock patrols during Deepavali, Christmas and any long weekend because based on past experiences, such dumping was reported during long breaks.

“Although we only had four such cases since December, we hope there will be no more, ” he said, adding that it cost the state government RM200,000 to clean up the affected rivers.

He also said that local councils had been urged to install CCTVs in high-risk areas to prevent such activities.

In Melaka, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali said tackling water scarcity during the dry season was on top of the state government’s agenda.

He said various efforts had been put in place to ensure supply was not affected, especially during the hot climate, which was the main reason of dams drying up.

Sulaiman said water rationing should be avoided at all cost, especially for a tourism state like Melaka.

“This can be achieved through proper management of water resources, ” he said.

He said adopting smart technology was one of the options to tackle a water crisis apart from strengthening water supply agreements with neighbouring states.

Sulaiman said developing a specific digital toolkit would help provide accurate assessments of the ground water situation and a contingency plan could be activated swiftly to prevent water cuts.

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