Sunday July 15, 2012
Chin: Existing water treatment plants may not be able to meet expected surge
By STEPHEN THEN
MIRI: The demand for treated water has surged in many parts of the state, necessitating a review of the water treatment and supply situation for the coming Malaysia Plan.
The existing water treatment plants might not be capable of meeting the expected surge, said Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Peter Chin yesterday.
He added that the state’s public utilities ministry in charge of water supply, will be liaising with his ministry on this.
Chin said there were already signs that the current water supply capacity in places like Miri city and also Sri Aman, Pakan and Julau, had reached maximum level and needed to be upgraded urgently.
“I understand that the current water supply capacity in Sri Aman is not enough anymore to meet the needs of the population there, so even in rural areas in Sarawak, the demand for treated water has increased.
“The plant in Sri Aman has to be upgraded to increase its capacity for treatment and storage.
“We are also aware that in Pakan and Julau, there may be similar projects.
“In Miri, there is also a need to look into the increasing needs. I will announce something for Miri at a later date,” he said.
“Last time, the capacity of the water treatment plants in Sarawak was enough to meet the needs of the people, but due to increase in demand and a widening service area that needs to be covered, there may not be enough to meet future needs.
“The ministry in the state will have to review these and then forward the matter to my ministry for consideration before we present these plans to the Economic Planning Unit for examination,” he said at a press conference here after launching the 1Green 1Community project here.
Chin, who is Miri MP, said the water needs in the peninsula, especially in Klang Valley, had reached a level where current capacity of the existing treatment plants had reached their peak.
He said that in Klang Valley, water rationing might become a necessity if the state government managed by Pakatan Rakyat could not resolve the current situation.
“The Selangor state government is in charge of the locations of many of our water projects.
“The state government under Pakatan Rakyat has some problems with the Federal Government and they cannot see eye-to-eye with us on how to meet the increasing water needs of the people in the state.
“The demands have gotten very high but the capacity to produce water has not been improved in tandem with the increasing demand.
“Syabas (the private company in Selangor in charge of water supply) is facing problems in not getting enough water.
“Water rationing may have to be imposed here and there in Selangor where the treatment plants do not have enough capacity,” he explained.
Chin said water supply was one of the main issues that his ministry was working very hard on to ensure sustainability for future generation.
The other issue was electricity usage which the ministry was currently working on to save electricity consumption in the homes, offices and public places, he said.
His ministry’s Malaysian Green Tech Corporation was currently carrying out several energy-saving projects in Miri, Kuching, Johor Baru, Kuantan and Kota Kinabalu, installing energy-saving LED lights in more places to reduce the use of electricity, he said.
The ministry was also reaching out to school students to inculcate energy-saving habit among them, he said.
Yesterday, the ministry organised the 1Green 1Community project at a shopping centre here to get the public to visit booths that offered energy-saving electrical gadgets so that they could increase their awareness of these green items.