Proposal for govt buildings to make use of rainwater

Proposal for govt buildings to make use of rainwater
People selling barrels of water in Balakong, Selangor.

PETALING JAYA - Government buildings should have a rainwater harvesting system to help conserve the use of piped water, said Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry secretary-general Datuk Loo Took Gee.

She proposed that the Public Works Department integrate rainwater harvesting technology into future designs of government buildings.

"Existing buildings should also be refurbished to include the system," she said.

"This would set a good example and encourage more Malaysians to harvest rainwater at their homes."

Residents in the state were hit with water rationing between February and the end of April after the Sungai Selangor dam level dropped to critical.

While the rationing ended on May 1, experts have warned of more water cuts due to weather conditions until the completion of the Langat 2 water supply project in 2017.

According to Loo, Malaysians consume high amounts of piped water, with one person typically using an average of 212 litres daily.

"We would like to reduce that to 180 litres. In Singapore, each person uses an average of 160 litres daily," she said.

Loo said the ministry was looking at adjusting the water tariff, where prices would be determined by supply and demand.

"The tariff in some states is too low. This encourages consumers to waste water," she said, adding that the ministry would have to first discuss any change with the water concessionaires.

"Of course the rate must be affordable but if it is too low the users will not appreciate the supply," she said.

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