Johor aims to not depend on Singapore for treated water by 2022: Malaysian minister

Pipes along the Causeway between Singapore and Malaysia. Malaysia currently buys treated water from Singapore at a rate of 50 sen per 1,000 gallons. PHOTO: ST FILE

PUTRAJAYA - The Malaysian government expects Johor to no longer be dependent on the supply of treated water from Singapore by 2022, said Minister for Water, Land and Natural Resources Xavier Jayakumar, Bernama reported.

He said the effort to reduce the dependency on treated water supply from Singapore was by ensuring treated water in Johor was sufficient.

"We have to make sure that Johor has sufficient treated water and does not need to get it from Singapore, which is why we have to provide new water treatment plants in Johor.

"The capacity must reach 260 million litres a day. We already have an understanding that by the year 2022, we will have this capacity," Dr Xavier told reporters in Johor on Monday (Aug 19).

Asked if the effort will have an effect on the Water Agreement talks between Malaysia and Singapore, Dr Xavier said there would be no effect and the agreement still stands, Bernama reported.

Under the current water agreement, which ends in 2061, Malaysia will provide 250 million gallons of raw water a day to Singapore at a rate of 3 sen (1 Singapore cent) per 1,000 gallons.

In return, Malaysia will buy back the treated water from Singapore at a rate of 50 sen per 1,000 gallons.

Separately, Dr Xavier said the ministry had agreed with the Johor state government on steps to tackle river pollution in the state through more efficient management of sewage waste.

"Both parties also agreed on forest management, especially involving the conservation of forest reserve areas as a national heritage," he said

Dr Xavier said the ministry and the Johor state government also agreed to set up a trust account for operations to save wild elephants.

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