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CYBERJAYA: Water supply nationwide is still under control, despite some dams in Penang, Kedah and Melaka experiencing lower water levels during the current hot and dry weather.

National Water Service Commission (Span) Corporate Communication and Consumer Affairs Unit Corporate Management Division director Mohd Fazil Ismail said the commission was keeping a close watch on the water levels at 46 dams nationwide, including Labuan.

"Water operators send their daily reports to us. The back-up plans will include cloud seeding but things are still under control and not moving towards that yet.

"Span will also mobilise all water operators when there is a water crisis. For instance, if Kedah is experiencing water supply problems, Selangor will send water and Melaka will send water.

"If there is shortage in water supply, there are agreements with other operators to help those affected," he told reporters, here.

Mohd Fazil said this in response to reports that Penang had been placed on high alert after recording the worst dam water levels.

The Gubir dam in Kedah as well as at the Durian Tunggal dam in Melaka also recorded low water levels.

Based on the Malaysian Meteorological Department’s (MetMalaysia) January drought monitoring report, Langkawi had taken the top spot with 26 days without a drop of rain.

As of 9.20am today (Jan 23), only Langkawi was placed on Level 1 or heatwave alert in the Peninsular.

MetMalaysia described Level 1 or heatwave alert is issued when temperatures are between 35°C and 37°C for three consecutive days.

If any area is declared as Level 2, when temperatures rise above 37°C for three days in a row, the Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Ministry is empowered to officially declare a heatwave in that area.

This is to enable the relevant authorities to take follow-up action, such as the closing of schools.

A Level 3 alert is declared when the temperature exceeds 40°C for three consecutive days. The announcement would be made by the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) and paves the way for the Prime Minister to declare a state of emergency.

On the 2020 Water is Life Run programme aimed to create awareness towards the importance of clean water, Mohd Fazil said it was held in conjunction with World Water Day.

"The run will take place on April 11 at Dataran Hibiscus, Anjung Floria Putrajaya starting from 6am to 10am. The run is open for registration to the public in two categories: 5km and 10km with participation targeted at 2,000."

He said the run was part of Span's initiative to raise awareness on the importance of protecting and preserving water resources as well as the practice of water conservation.

As of 2018, the average domestic water consumption per person in Peninsular Malaysia and Labuan was high at about 226 litres per day compared to the target of 180 litres per day by 2020.

The main source of water is largely from rivers at 82 per cent.

To a question, Mohd Fazil said the people in Malaysia relied on 200 rivers for their water supply.

"As of 2018, the amount of treated water being supplied to the consumers across Malaysia is about 9,600 million litres daily," he said, stressing on the importance of keeping the rivers clean.

#kw Mohd Fazil Ismail, SPAN, water, dams, melaka, penang, kedah, hot, dry, weather, Metmalaysia

If there is shortage in water supply, there are agreements with other operators to help those affected. NSTP/MIKAIL ONG
If there is shortage in water supply, there are agreements with other operators to help those affected. NSTP/MIKAIL ONG
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