ISKANDAR PUTERI • The Johor government is confident that the state can weather the dry spell without water rationing despite the decreasing levels in the state's 15 dams.
State Public Works, Rural and Regional Development Committee chairman Hasni Mohammed said water rationing will be the last resort because the dams now have supply for two to three months even if there is no rain. He added that the dry spell is expected to last until June.
He said that in the past, the state had to resort to water rationing - sometimes for up to four months - because of critical levels at the Sungai Lebam and Sungai Layang dams.
Work is now under way to fill up the Sungai Lebam dam "which will be operational by next month and the water transfer to the Sungai Layang dam from Sungai Seluyut which will be completed by the end of the year", he told reporters on Wednesday.
Datuk Hasni stressed that although both dams are considered to be at their "worst" now because of their critical water levels, the state is confident that its measures will be able to resolve the problem.
GO EASY ON WATER
I ask the public not to panic but instead be wise when using water.
DATUK HASNI MOHAMMED, State Public Works, Rural and Regional Development Committee chairman.
He said the state water authorities have also been directed to identify alternative water sources for the dams and carry out cloud-seeding operations.
"I ask the public not to panic but instead be wise when using water," he said, adding that all 44 water treatment plants in the state were functioning normally, pumping out 1.7 billion litres of treated water to residents each day.
Datuk Hasni also directed all agencies such as the Department of Environment and the Drainage and Irrigation Department to monitor effluents being discharged into the waterways.
"Our Sultan Ismail water treatment plant, which draws water from Sungai Skudai (Skudai River), always has problems because of the poor water quality," he said.
Aside from the two Johor dams, four other dams are under close watch as water reserves reached critical levels due to the dry spell. They are Timah Tasoh in Perlis, Gemencheh in Negri Sembilan, as well as Milau and Babagon in Sabah. Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Maximus Ongkili said reserves at the dams were at the 30 per cent level or less as of the end of last month.
THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK