KOTA KINABALU: Increasing water production capacity under Urgent Water Supply Schemes (UWSS) is among measures being taken to overcome water supply disruptions in the city and its surrounding areas.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Shahelmey Yahya said the UWSS was part of efforts to overcome current low water pressure faced by consumers.
He attributed the low water pressure and water supply shortages to slightly higher demand.
The problem was further compounded by leakages due to old pipes which triggered further disruption to water pressure and supply.
“For the short- to mid-term measures, our government through the Water Department has constructed Urgent Water Supply Scheme to generate additional treated water supply to Kota Kinabalu north,” he said.
He added phase two of the delayed Telibong water treatment plant project would also help improve water supply.
“We recently received approval for another UWSS to boost the capacity covering Putatan district (neighbouring Kota Kinabalu City),” he said.
Shahelmey, who took over as state Works Minister earlier this month, said another major hurdle to overcome was non-revenue water (NRW) which was about 40% in Kota Kinabalu and its surrounding areas.
“NRW is also high, reducing the amount of water that reaches consumers,” he said.
Shahelmey said the department expected to reduce NRW and improve water pressure and supply to consumers within the next six-months.
Consumer complaints about dry taps and low water pressure had been increasing in and around the state capital over the past two years.
Earlier this week, Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) campus had faced water supply disruption.
Shahelmey said the Water Department managed to resolve the severe water shortage at the university on Thursday.
“We managed to fill up their tanks by addressing some technical issues. However, that was only a temporary and immediate measure.
“A discussion between our side represented by our permanent secretary of the Works Ministry, Water Department director and UMS was held on Wednesday.
“Some technical issues and ways to approach the issue were discussed,” he added.