Water level at Air Itam Dam drops to below 70 per cent

BATU KAWAN: The water level at the Air Itam Dam on Penang island has decreased to 66.7 percent, but it is still sufficient to supply water for up to 66 days, including during the scheduled four-day water supply disruption in the state starting January 10.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said that the significant decrease is attributed to a recent pipe leakage incident in Sungai Perai, Butterworth, as it required an increased production of treated water from the Air Itam Reservoir compared to the usual amount.

"It is found that the current water level at the Air Itam Dam is 66.7 percent, and I was informed that the incident in Sungai Perai caused a decline compared to the previous water level of 83 percent because the production of treated water was around 22 million litres per day (MLD) before this.

"However, during the pipe leakage incident, the Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) had to increase the production of treated water from the Air Itam Reservoir to 40 MLD due to disrupted supply in several areas at that time, to be distributed to those experiencing water supply problems.

"It is expected that the water percentage at the Air Itam Dam will continue to decrease to 57 percent in the coming week, during the scheduled water supply disruption, as PBAPP needs to extract more water for treatment from there for distribution to affected residents until January 15," he told reporters after the groundbreaking ceremony for the Capstone Business Suite project here today.

Chow said this when asked to comment on the decrease in the water level at the Air Itam Dam, which is seen as significant compared to two weeks ago.

Commenting further, Chow stated that, as of now, the state government does not plan to request cloud seeding operations due to the reduction in the water level at the Air Itam Reservoir because it has not reached a critical level.

"It is not easy to carry out cloud seeding; it needs to take into account many factors, and I also feel that it has not reached a critical level. However, I urge the residents in this state to continue to conserve water, especially approaching the Chinese New Year, which is usually a dry season," he said.

A total of 590,000 water users, including non-domestic consumers, are expected to be affected by the water supply supply disruption due to the closure of the Sungai Dua Water Treatment Plant to make way for the replacement of two damaged 1,200-millimeter valves.

PBAPP announced that the scheduled disruption for 96 hours will start at 6 am on January 10 and end at 6 am on January 14, and also involves other ancillary works at 22 locations across Penang. -- BERNAMA

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