Kedah water supply woes won't be resolved over a short period of time

ALOR STAR: The Kedah Menteri Besar Office today acknowledged that it would take some time to resolve the state's low pressure water supply.

The MB Office, in a statement, admitted that the issue had plagued the state's water supply for many years. It however, said that the problem was expected to be resolved when upgrading works to the existing water treatments plants in the state are completed.

"The state government is confident that within two and three years, the issue of treated water supply in Kedah would be resolved.

"The state government and SADA (Syarikat Air Darul Aman) are doing their level best to solve the problem," the statement read.

The statement also said that Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md. Nor has prioritised this issue under his administration since assuming the post in May 2020.

It added that the issue was further aggravated by financial constraints suffered by SADA over the past several years.

"SADA reportedly suffered losses amounting to RM36 million in 2019. This has affected its ability to carry out maintenance works which are costly.

"However, with the commitment and efforts undertaken by the new state government leadership, including intensive cost reduction implemented by SADA, the company managed to record RM1 million profit in 2020.

"In 2021, SADA's before-tax profit had increased to over RM30 million, enabling SADA to intensify upgrading and maintenance works state-wide," read the statement.

Besides projects undertaken by SADA, the statement said the Federal government via the Environment and Water Ministry was also helping out with several projects involving upgrading works of six water treatment plants.

The plants are in Pelubang which is expected to be completed by 2024 for Kuala Kedah and Ayer Hitam, Jenun Baru (Dec 2023) for Pendang and Yan, Bukit Selambau (Dec 2023) for Merbok, Tanjung Dawai and Tupah. Another project is the upgrading of the pump system in Padang Matsirat, Langkawi.

The Kedah MBO added that the state government would require RM900 million to replace the ageing piping system in order to resolve the Non-Revenue Water (NRW) which was recorded at 49 per cent.

"The state government and SADA have set a target to bring down the NRW rate to 25 per cent," it said.

The Kedah MBO also urged farmers and large-scale orchard owners to use alternative water sources to water their plants instead of depending solely on treated water supply.

"This is because in certain areas where there is low water pressure, account holders living at the end of the SADA water supply piping will be affected everytime the farmers stored water to water their plants in the following day," read the statement.

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