Johor begins cloud-seeding to raise water levels

JOHOR BARU • The Malaysian authorities yesterday started cloud-seeding operations in Johor as it tries to raise water levels in dams in the state.

Johor Water Regulatory Body director Mohd Riduan Mohd Ali said the operations will continue until the end of the month.

"We will make about 20 flights and each operation will take between two and three hours," he said in a press statement.

Mr Mohd Riduan said the operations would focus on areas near the Sungai Layang dam in Masai and the Sungai Lebam dam in Kota Tinggi.

These are areas located just north of Singapore and near the mouth of the giant Sungai Johor river that flows into the Strait of Johor.

Other areas that would get cloud-seeding include those located in western Johor at the Machap, Chongok, Juaseh and Sembrong dams. According to Johor water concessionaire SAJ Holdings, water levels at both the Sungai Layang and Sungai Lebam dams had dropped drastically.

SAJ corporate communications head Jamaluddin Jamil said the water level at the Sungai Layang dam had dropped to the critical level of 19.71m, from 23.5m previously.

At nearby Sungai Lebam dam, the level had dropped to 8.8m from 12.27m in recent times.

Mr Jamaluddin said the water levels at these two dams were still at the "critical" stage, despite heavy rains recorded in several parts of southern Johor in the last few days.

He said SAJ is extending water-rationing at several parts of Johor Baru, Masai and Pengerang in Kota Tinggi from Friday to Nov 15.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 13, 2015, with the headline 'Johor begins cloud-seeding to raise water levels'. Print Edition | Subscribe