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No water supply crisis during El Nino, SPAN assures

The water services commission says most of the dams in the country have water levels of above 90%.

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Children play at the water park at Taman Tasik Titiwangsa in Kuala Lumpur.
Children play at the water park at Taman Tasik Titiwangsa in Kuala Lumpur.

The country is not expected to face a water crisis like the one in 1998, although Malaysia is predicted to experience the El Nino phenomenon from June to September this year, the National Water Services Commission (SPAN) says.

SPAN regional operations division director Azrul Raimee Ramli said this based on the Malaysian Meteorological Department’s weather report and the current global warming.

He said SPAN was monitoring the condition of 43 dams across the country, and had found that nearly all of them had water levels of above 90%.

"Only seven dams are being monitored as the water level has dropped by almost 50% without exceeding the warning level," he said when appearing as a guest on the Ruang Bicara programme on Bernama TV yesterday.

The seven dams are the Timah Tasoh dam in Perlis, Air Itam and Teluk Bahang dams in Penang, Sungai Muda and Maulud dams in Kedah, Bukit Merah dam in Perak, and Sembrong dam in Johor.

Azrul said SPAN constantly monitors the main dams in the peninsula and has established a preparedness plan that involves the cooperation of various parties and water operators.

In the event of a crisis in water supply, such as the one that occurred in 1998, Azrul said the government could use the Water Services Industry Act 2006 (Act 655) to limit the rate of consumption for major usage, to ensure the continuity of water supply.