Friday, March 5, 2021

Backup water source in the pipeline, minister says as taps run dry again

But Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man says pollution will continue as long as there are perpetrators.

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Environment and Water Minister Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man says his ministry is working towards an alternative source of water that can function as a back-up supply for one or two weeks in the event of a disruption to the regular supply, as the Klang Valley experienced yet another water cut due to pollution today.

But while the ministry is working with all relevant parties to prevent such incidents, he said pollution would not stop as long as perpetrators exist.

“It will continue to happen, but what’s the alternative?

“When there’s pollution, we will use the second source of water so that people will not be affected by disruptions,” he said.

He added that Selangor needs to work on increasing its reserve margin, which currently stands at 1%.

“If we can increase it to 20 to 25%, we will still have supply for some time, even after an incident happens,” he said.

A total of 1,196,457 Air Selangor account holders in 1,292 areas in the Klang Valley experienced another unscheduled disruption in water supply today as operations at four Sungai Selangor water treatment plants were suspended due to pollution at the raw water source.

Tuan Ibrahim earlier said that water supply would likely be restored within 24 hours.

Speaking in a press conference, he said illegal factories operating near rivers could be the cause of the pollution.

He also said the Department of Environment would be monitoring any activities that could cause pollution to Sungai Selangor.

However, he added that it was impossible to monitor the entire river at all times.

According to him, river pollution often occurs late at night, after midnight, or on weekends.

“The ministry will not compromise with these culprits,” he said.

“With the cooperation of various agencies including the police, we are confident that we can take action against these environmental criminals in the near future.”

Last week, he said, authorities issued a three-month suspension order to a factory for causing pollution, with stern action still to come.

He also said the ministry had applied for allocations in the 2021 budget and 12th Malaysia Plan to boost manpower and equipment, and improve monitoring systems and plants.

“We will increase our staff and work with the police. We are also requesting allocations to add equipment and early warning systems as well as to improve monitoring and plant systems.”

 

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