Refine guidelines on dam water release, Dr Wee urges govt

A file picture of water being released from the Pedu Dam in Kedah on April 16, 2016. – GC TAN/The Star

PETALING JAYA: The Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Ministry has been urged to refine the standard operating procedure for the release of water from dams.

"I would like to ask the minister (Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad) if they are ready to refine these guidelines," said Ayer Hitam MP Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.

"The current procedure (for releasing water from dams) is good, but when there is too much water accumulated (and later released), low-lying areas are the ones that can be badly affected," he added in his question in Parliament on Tuesday (March 7).

Dr Wee then said that he is concerned about the infrastructure along Jalan Labis in Johor, noting that three rivers passed through this stretch.

"My concern is whenever water is released from the dams, it may result in the bridges there collapsing," said Dr Wee.

"I would like to ask the minister and the Irrigation and Drainage Department to take another look at this, as the infrastructure there should be built to last at least 100 years," he added, saying that he is afraid of unwanted incidents happening in his constituency.

In response, Nik Nazmi said he was aware of the concerns raised by Dr Wee, noting that weather patterns had also changed drastically.

"We (the ministry) are not only looking at structured solutions such as infrastructural projects and are adapting projects to better handle more unpredictable weather conditions," he said.

He also agreed with Dr Wee's suggestion on refining guidelines for releasing water from dams.

"Yes, we are doing this in stages and should be further emphasised so we can solve any potential issues that arise from climate change," he said.

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