Penang to continue drawing water from Sungai Muda despite levels reported to be low

The water level at the Air Itam Dam on Penang island has decreased to 30.3 percent on Wednesday. (April 17, 2024) — LIM BENG TATT/The Star

GEORGE TOWN: Penang will continue to extract water from Sungai Muda despite levels in the river reported to be low and at risk.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, who is also Penang Water Supply Corporation chairman, said the intake in Lahar Tiang would still be able to do so as it is located at the further end of the river and its pumps are built deeper.

"Penang is the last along Sungai Muda to draw water from it, while Kedah has several other intakes upstream.

"When the intakes are affected, it does not mean that our extraction point would be as the levels at which pumps are installed are different.

"Pumps that we used to extract water are installed deep into the river so if water level in the river drops, we would still be able to draw it.

"The inability to extract water occurs only when the pumps are too far above the water level," he told reporters Wednesday (April 17).

PBAPP chief executive officer K. Pathmanathan, when contacted, said so far Penang is not facing any issue in drawing water from Sungai Muda.

"So far no issue on water level at the intake in Lahar Tiang.

"We are monitoring closely," he said.

On Tuesday (April 16), Kedah water company Syarikat Air Darul Aman (Sada) released a statement informing that water levels in Sungai Muda where the Sungai Petani and Pinang Tunggal water treatment plants operate have shown a declining trend and at risk of causing water disruption to users in the Kuala Muda district.

It said the drop in raw water level was due to continuous drought and authorities have increased the release of water by 50% from Beris Dam to stabilise water levels in Sungai Muda.

Meanwhile, checks at dams in Penang found them to be little unchanged despite light rainfall over the past several days.

Levels at the Air Itam Dam stood at 30.3%, while levels in Teluk Bahang and Mengkuang Dam were at 60.8% and 89.7%, effectively.

PBAPP has significantly reduced its average daily raw water drawdowns from Air Itam Dam since February, with the implementation of the Air Itam Dam Action Plan 2024 (AIDAP 2024).

Instead, PBAPP is pumping water at 33 million litres per day (MLD), from the Sungai Dua Water Treatment Plant to the Air Itam service area to make up for the reduced drawdowns from the Air Itam Dam.

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Penang , Water , Supply , Sungai Muda


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