JOHOR BARU - Singapore has put a dampener to a suggestion to conduct cloud seeding over two Malaysian dams here which are experiencing critical water levels.
The island will not allow for any cloud seeding to be carried out at Sungai Lebam dam in Kota Tinggi and the Layang dam in Pasir Gudang because the activities have been deemed to be encroaching into its territory.
Both dams supply water to some 760,000 people.
Johor would have to find other alternatives following Singapore's refusal, said state public works, rural and regional development chairman Datuk Hasni Mohammad.
He added that another suggestion would be to transfer water from Sungai Johor to the Sungai Lebam dam, and from the upper Sungai Layang to the Layang dam.
He said the two rivers would act like the feeders for the two dams but if the water levels at the dams were to drop drastically, operations at the dams would be shut down immediately.
Hasni added that the present dry spell was also causing the water levels in Sungai Johor and Sungai Layang to fall.
SAJ Holdings Sdn Bhd may have to start scheduled water supply if water levels at the two dams did not improve over the next few weeks.
SAJ corporate communications head Jamaluddin Jamil said water levels at the two dams had dropped drastically in the past two months.
"There are 14 dams in Johor but only the Sungai Lebam and Layang dams are the ones facing the critical situation," he said.
Jamaluddin said the water level at the Sungai Lebam dam had dropped to 9.87m (which is the critical level) from 12.27m, and Layang dam from 23.50m to 19.72m.
The Sungai Lebam dam supplies water to about 160,000 consumers in Pengerang, Bandar Penawar, Desaru and Gugusan Felda Air Tawar.
The Layang dam channels water to 600,000 users in Pasir Gudang mostly industrial users and also parts of Johor Baru.