Penang water reserves go down despite rain


Looking low: The water level at the Air Itam Dam seen at 31.8% in Penang island. — LIM BENG TATT/The Star

GEORGE TOWN: A thunderstorm hit Penang on the first day of Hari Raya, with a downpour all afternoon – but it did little to help raise the level in the island’s oldest dam.

Instead, the Hari Raya festivities have taken more water out of the state’s reserves, with the Air Itam Dam now having water for only another 32 days.

The reserves dropped to 31.8% yesterday compared with 35% on March 30.

Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) chief executive officer K. Pathmanathan, however, gave his assurance that this was normal and that PBAPP had increased the drawdown to meet demand during the festive season.

“We increased the drawdown from 9.24 million litres per day (MLD) to an average of 25.82 MLD during the festive period from now until Sunday.

“After that, the drawdown will be reduced to about 9 MLD at the dam,” he said yesterday.

Pathmanathan said Wednesday’s afternoon rain – and sporadic showers over the past few days – had helped increase the supply of raw water at the Air Itam water treatment plant.

“We recorded 14mm of rain at the Air Itam catchment area on Wednesday. For now, the overall water supply in Penang is under control, with a prediction of significantly higher rainfall in the coming three to four months,” he added.

As of yesterday, the effective water capacity at the three dams in Penang are Air Itam Dam (31.8%), Teluk Bahang Dam (63.2%) and Mengkuang Dam (89.7%).

During the festive period, PBAPP also deployed 13 water tankers to prevent or minimise unscheduled water supply interruption during the hot and dry season.

Pathmanathan said PBAPP had anticipated that water consumption between April 7 and April 14 might exceed the usual 9.27 MLD.

He said besides water tankers, there are 47 static water tanks (with maximum capacity of 2,000 litres) on standby.

“We seek the cooperation of consumers to use water wisely during the Hari Raya period as Penang is still experiencing hot and dry weather which is depleting reserves,” he said.

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Penang Dam , Water Leve;s , Air Itam Dam

   

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