SPAN: Dams are full but be prudent

PETALING JAYA: The eight dams in Klang Valley are about 90% filled now but consumers should be prudent in their usage in view of a pending dry season.

According to the National Water Services Commission (SPAN), the Sungai Selangor dam, which is the source of 70% of treated water in Klang Valley, was at 95.47% as of yesterday.

Two other dams – Semenyih and Langat – were at almost 100% and 94.41% capacity respectively, while four others were at more than 90%.

For now, SPAN said consumers need not worry because the supply to dams that provide raw water to treatment plants was manageable.

Almost all of the dams have been at the maximum or nearly full level in January and February.

“We call on consumers to be thrifty in their usage so that these water resources can last longer considering the coming dry season, ” it said.

Having learned from the previous pattern of water level at the dams, SPAN said that Pengurusan Air Selangor would be more prepared this year in dealing with the hot and dry season.

“Dams are usually designed to have three months’ supply if the dry season is prolonged and the river level is low, ” it added.

Association of Water and Energy Research Malaysia president S. Piarapakaran said the water levels at the dams would increase soon during the inter-monsoon period in mid-March.

But the high water levels does not mean the public should take it easy in their water usage, he said.

“The three main treatment plants drawing water from Sungai Selangor are running above their design capacity.

“This situation will deplete the raw water fast. Changes in rainfall pattern would have a risk similar to the water crisis in 2014, ” he said.

Furthermore, he noted that the rain might not fall on dams and water catchments areas.

He also said that most water catchments were far away from water-stressed zones. “This is why treatment plants should be built in rural locations, ” he added.

Piarapakaran suggested that the upgrading of wastewater discharge standard “pollution reversal” be started.

“This will reduce high dependency on upstream catchment and have more midstream and downstream catchments in the next 15 to 20 years, ” he said.

However, he noted that pollution reversal takes time. “We need to incorporate the legislative and engineering approach to achieve successful results.”

In late February, the Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) predicted warmer weather, with less rainfall for the coming weeks.

The hot weather that began since Chinese New Year is expected to last until the middle of this month.

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