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DANGER OF BREAKING DOWN: They are giving at least 20pc extra water to Selangor
PUTRAJAYA: THE overworked Semenyih and Langat water treatment plants are in danger of breaking down.
Compounding the problem further, the water reserves in Selangor have dropped to a dangerously low level, Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Peter Chin Fah Kui said yesterday.
He warned that the water reserves had plunged to 1.22 per cent of the total amount of treated water on June 7 from the required average of 20 per cent.
With the haze and current hot weather, households in the state may face more serious water shortages.
“If this occurs, the Federal Government will be forced to carry out water rationing and the people will suffer.”
The National Water Services Commission (SPAN) has detected drastically lower levels in the state’s “balancing reservoirs” for treated water as the hot weather continues.
Balancing reservoirs are the main dams where treated water is channelled to.
The low levels in the Semenyih and Langat balancing reservoirs and increased demand for water under the current dry spell could result in supply cuts in Petaling, Kuala Lumpur, Hulu Langat and Sepang.
Records show that from June 5 to 11, the Sungai Semenyih treatment plant had exceeded its water production capacity by as much as 20 per cent, from 545 million litres per day to 653.3 million litres per day.
The Sungai Langat treatment plant, meanwhile, had exceeded its water production capacity by up to 24 per cent, from 386 million litres per day to 478.3 million litres, he added.
“By comparing the production and distribution capacities of all 34 water treatment plants, we have a reserve capacity of only 2.06 per cent,” Chin said.
“This amount is very little because on certain days, the water usage in Klang Valley is seven per cent higher than the average demand capacity.”
On June 17, he said the demand for water shot up to 4,410 million litres per day, way above the capacity of 4,371 million litres per day.
“This only shows that the Selangor government’s claim that demand for water is at a flattening rate is not true.”
The records indicated that there was a suppressed demand because treatment plants could not cope and supply enough water.
Chin said the Parti Keadilan Rakyat-led state government’s refusal to give the green light for the Langat 2 water treatment plant would only worsen the problem.
The state government rejected the project, which would see water from Pahang channelled to Selangor, simply because it feared that this would give political mileage to the Barisan Nasional.
The Pahang-Selangor inter-state raw water transfer is scheduled to be ready by 2014.
Chin said studies showed that with the accelerating increase in population in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya, Langat 2 would be able to accommodate up to eight million people from 2014 to 2025, without having to build any more additional treatment plants.
“I would like to stress this point again, that with Langat 2, it can supply 1,130 million litres per day at only RM5 billion compared with the allocation of RM7.2 billion needed to reduce non-revenue water from 32.3 per cent this year in 2012 to 20.83 per cent in 2020,” Chin said.
Meanwhile, Deputy Natural Resources and Environment Minister Tan Sri Joseph Kurup told the Dewan Rakyat that the Federal Government had spent a whopping RM527.8 million to address Selangor’s flood woes under the Ninth Malaysia Plan.
Another RM108 million was allocated under the 10th Malaysia Plan’s rolling-out plan between last year and next year.
The huge sum spent for Selangor flood mitigation plans contrasted with the state government’s claim that it had only received RM60 million for the purpose.
Kurup attributed flood woes in Selangor to higher rainfall, climate change and development.
He urged the local authorities in the state to step up their measures in alleviating the flood issues, including widening and clearing drains of debris and rubbish to ensure smooth run-off of rainwater.
He said major flood mitigation projects had been carried out, including RM359.8 million for the first phase of the Sungai Damansara flood mitigation programme, which was completed in 2010.
This had brought relief to residents in Shah Alam and he refuted claims that the Federal Government had reduced allocations to the state to carry out flood mitigation programmes.
“The Federal Government is always aware and highly committed to resolve flood issues nationwide, including in Selangor,” he said in response to Teresa Kok (DAP-Seputeh) during the adjournment speech.
Kok had asked whether the Federal Government had deliberately reduced its allocation for flood mitigation programmes in the state to punish the Selangor people for voting for Pakatan Rakyat.
Kurup said an additional RM64.58 million would go to the second phase of Sungai Damansara flood mitigation project. Additional reporting by V. Shankar, Eunice Au and Nuradilla Noorazam