Dam level nears critical point

Dam level nears critical point

PETALING JAYA - The water level at the Sungai Selangor dam has dropped even closer to its critical point.

Yesterday, the level dropped to 31.9 per cent of its capacity. A dam capacity of 30 per cent is deemed critical.

Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas) corporate communications and public affairs general manager Priscilla Alfred said while there was still enough water to supply to households at the moment, water disruptions might occur if the dry season continues.

"The usage of water has also gone up - this happens during every dry season as people tend to use more water.

"If this high usage as well as the dry season continues, there may be unscheduled disruptions to the water supply in some areas," she said yesterday.

The amount of water used by Malaysians per person per day was about 220 litres, she said.

"Since the beginning of the dry season, the usage has increased to about 250 litres per person per day now," she said.

This, she said, was very high compared to the usage of water in neighbouring Singapore, where they used about 160 litres per person per day.

When the water rationing exercise was imposed in the Klang Valley between February and March, the water level at the Sungai Selangor dam was at 37 per cent.

The dam supplies about 60 per cent of Klang Valley's raw water needs.

An expert from the industry, who declined to be named, said low water tariff in Selangor contributed to the high usage and waste of treated water. Currently, the tariff for the first 20 cubic metres is 57 sen per cubic metre.

He said the state government should not just rely on water from former mining ponds as these ponds would dry out, too.

"The decision to allow licensed car wash outlets to operate only six hours daily is a good start but why does this only apply to these operators?

"The public should be made to conserve water, too. Hosepipe bans can be imposed to prevent residents from using hoses to water their plants or wash their cars. They can use pails instead - this will save a lot of water," he said.

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