KOTA KINABALU: The Urgent Water Supply Scheme (UWSS) is one measure being taken to overcome dwindling water supply in the city and its surrounding areas.
Newly-appointed state Works Minister Shahelmey Yahya said UWSS was part of efforts to overcome current low water pressure faced by consumers.
Shahelmey, who is also Deputy Chief Minister, said the low water pressure and shortage of supply were due to slightly higher demand.
The problem was compounded by leakages due to old pipe breaks that caused further drops in water pressure and disruption of supply to consumers, he added.
"For the short- to mid-term measures, our government through the Water Department has constructed the UWSS to generate additional treated water supply for KK north," he said, adding that phase two of the delayed Telibong water treatment plant project would also help.
"We have recently got approval to do another UWSS to boost capacity in the adjacent Putatan district," he said of the measures taken to overcome the city's water woes.
Shahelmey, who took over the Works portfolio earlier this month, said one major hurdle was to overcome non-revenue water (NRW), which is about 40% in the greater Kota Kinabalu area.
"NRW also reduces the amount of water reaching consumers.
"Within the next six months, we will make progress in the NRW programme; more water could be saved and reach the consumers," he said, adding that the authorities hoped to see an overall improvement in supply in that period.
Complaints of taps drying up and low water pressure have been growing, with many people complaining of shortages in and around the state capital over the past 24 months.
Earlier this week, water supply at the Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) campus here ran out.
Shahelmey said the Water Department managed to resolve the severe water shortage at the university on Thursday (Jan 26).
"We settled it. We have managed to fill up their tank by (addressing) some technical issues. However, that was only a temporary measure.
"A discussion with UMS was held on Wednesday (Jan 25) and discussed ways to resolve the issue," he added.