Use water wisely, Penangites urged as Air Itam dam water runs low

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang government has again reminded water consumers in the state to use water wisely after it was reported that water supply from the Air Itam dam can only last for 32 days.

State Infrastructure Committee chairman Zairil Khir Johari said it was important for the people to avoid wastage of water.

"As always, we advise consumers to use water wisely and not waste it. We have been implementing controls for the last two months to maintain the Air Itam dam level," he told the New Straits Times.

Earlier today, the NST reported that the water supply from the Air Itam dam was expected to last for only 32 days due to the increased demand during the festive period.

Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) chief executive officer K. Pathmanathan said water levels at the dam had depleted despite the recent downpour.

Such a situation, he said, was normal since the PBAPP has increased the drawdown to meet the demands of the festive period during Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

The state government had last month, said Zairil, projected that the Air Itam dam was expected to last for only 32 days then.

"In other words, we have successfully maintained the Air Itam dam level for 32 days. This means that whatever plan we put in place has been a success," he said.

The Penang government and PBAPP, on numerous occasions, have repeatedly urged consumers in the state to immediately reduce their water consumption by 10 per cent.

The latest call was made on April 6 with the PBAPP urging Penangites to reduce their water usage by 10 per cent until June to ensure adequate water supply for the state throughout the year.(Hyperlink:

To avoid a potential water crisis, especially in Air Itam, PBAPP had also put in place the Air Itam Dam Action Plan 2024 (AIDAP 2024).

AIDAP 2024 is aimed at potentially increasing the effective capacity of the dam to 50 per cent by the end of this month through the implementation of four key water supply engineering contingency measures, including minimising raw water drawdowns from the Air Itam Dam to the Air Itam water treatment plant by 75 per cent daily, from 44 million litres per day (MLD) to 11 MLD.

Other contingency measures included optimising raw water intake from the Main's Intake and Tat's Intake (the two other raw water resources for the Air Itam WTP) at a rate of 6 MLD; as reducing treated water production at the Air Itam WTP by about 66 per cent from 50 MLD to 17 MLD per day; as well as pumping 33 MLD of treated water from the Sungai Dua WTP (Seberang Prai) into the service area of the Air Itam WTP.

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