PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysians in six states must brace for water rationing due to the extreme hot weather, says Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Xavier Jayakumar.
He said there are three dams which have a storage capacity of only around 50 per cent.
"The three dams are Muda Dam at 58.97 per cent, Machap Dam at 55.61 per cent and Sembrong Dam at 54.07 per cent. The dam at Bukit Kwong Dam in Kelantan is at the storage capacity of 37.28 per cent.
"The daily water needs of consumers, be it for residential use, industrial or agricultural have to be controlled. For the padi farmers, water has to be channelled using the rationing method or the rescheduling of padi replanting," said Dr Xavier in a press statement on Saturday (March 23).
Dr Xavier said that other critical areas which have also only received less than 25 per cent of the average annual rainfall include Rembau and Tampin in Negri Sembilan and Rompin in Pahang.
Areas such as Padang Terap in Kedah, Cameron Highlands and Kuantan in Pahang and Dungun, Hulu Terengganu, Kemaman and Kuala Terengganu are under the "dangerous" category as these places too have not received enough rainfall.
Dr Xavier said it has been predicted that six states - Negri Sembilan, Johor, Perak, Kedah, Pahang and Kelantan - will face water shortages as the weather turns hot and dry due to lack of rainfall.
"There needs to be more water supply from Bersi Dam, Muda Dam, Pedu Dam, Ahning Dam and Jus Dam. This is due to active padi replanting in areas around these dams until April.
"The high demand for water for padi agricultural purposes at Sungai Muda is in March, while in Sungai Kedah, it is in April," said Dr Xavier.
He further said that the Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) has requested authorities in their respective states to control water release from the dams.