Enough water in Linggiu Dam to supply to S'pore: Johor official

JOHOR BARU • A top Johor official has assured Singapore that the Linggiu Dam has sufficient water to supply 1.1 billion litres a day to the Republic, in reaction to concerns about the low level of water in the reservoir in recent months.

The chairman of Johor's Public Works, Rural and Regional Development Committee, Datuk Hasni Mohamad, said there are ongoing measures being carried out to raise the capacity of nearby rivers and catchment areas.

One such method is by enlarging the river waterway to the dam so that it can store water as well. This is done by introducing a barrage or off-site storage, in what is called "off-river storage".

"In Linggiu's case, we focus on the rivers around it, like the Johor River and Linggiu River, so that efforts to pump water into the dam can be done," he said on Thursday.

Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said earlier this month that there is a significant risk that the water level in the Linggiu Reservoir could fall to zero if this year turns out to be a dry one.

In a written reply in Parliament on Jan 9, he said that the water level in the reservoir stood at 27 per cent as of Jan 1.

The water level has dropped drastically over the past few years, from 84 per cent at the start of 2015 to the lowest recorded level of 20 per cent in October last year.

Earlier this week, national water agency PUB said that because of the rainy season, the reservoir's level was more than 30 per cent full, up from 27.5 per cent a week ago.

PUB is entitled to draw about 1.1 billion litres of raw water daily from the Johor River, under the 1962 agreement with Malaysia, which expires in 2061. In return, it is obliged to sell about 22.7 million litres of treated water to Johor each day.

Meanwhile, Mr Hasni admitted it was worrying when the water level in the reservoir hit a low of 25 per cent of its full capacity recently. But continuous rain in the past few days has helped raise the water level in the Johor River to 5.9m, he said.

Johor officials are keeping a close watch because if the wet season continues, water could rise to the danger level of 7.5m, possibly causing floods in Kota Tinggi town, Mr Hasni added.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 28, 2017, with the headline 'Enough water in Linggiu Dam to supply to S'pore: Johor official'. Print Edition | Subscribe