KLANG, Malaysia - The water reserve margin in the Klang Valley now stands at only 2 per cent to 3 per cent when the safe level should be at about 20 per cent, said National Water Services Commission chairman Datuk Ismail Kassim.
"The average production for all 34 treatment plants in Selangor this year is 4,673 million litres per day (MLD) while the projected maximum capacity is 4,781 MLD.
"This means that on the average, the water reserve margin is at 2.3 per cent," he said in a statement here yesterday.
Ismail was commenting on a statement by Mentri Besar Azmin Ali that water reserves were enough to meet the needs of the people in the state.
Azmin also said that several plans, including the Hybrid Off River Augmentation System (Horas) and the Sungai Bernam project, had been put into place to ensure sufficient supply.
Puncak Niaga Holdings Bhd and Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor executive chairman Tan Sri Rozali Ismail had earlier warned that the state's water reserve was currently less than 5 per cent and that it urgently needed the Langat 2 water treatment plant.
Ismail clarified that both Horas and the Sungai Bernam project were only meant to increase the sources of raw water.
"There is not enough treated water in Selangor, Putrajaya and Kuala Lumpur. The treatment plants are either operating at maximum level or overloading," he said, adding that the state's mitigation plans were only a short-term measure.
The low water reserve margin, said Ismail, put all consumers at risk of disruptions.
In a statement, Water Association of Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya (Swan) president Muhammad Tariq Loong Abdullah called Azmin's statement ironic as several treatment plants in the state had ceased operations due to raw water contamination since January.
"If the raw water reserve is enough as claimed and the state is doing its best to ensure that, then why are disruptions still happening?" he asked.
Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan said based on its survey, over 45 per cent of companies had to spend RM10,000 per day to get water supply from other sources during the rationing last year, with some paying over RM210,000 per day.