Water crisis looms in Selangor

PETALING JAYA - After the haze, millions of households in Selangor may face the more serious problem of water shortage.

Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas) has detected drastically lower levels in the state's "balancing reservoirs" for treated water as the hot weather persists.

Balancing reservoirs are the main dams where treated water is channelled into.

The notably low levels in the Semenyih and Langat balancing reservoirs and increased demand for water under the current dry spell could result in cuts to supply in Petaling, Kuala Lumpur, Hulu Langat and Sepang.

Syabas has also been notified that the output of treated water in all 33 treatment plants in the state on Saturday was at the highest at 4,405 mld (million litres a day) although the plants are designed to produce 4,371 mld.

Among the areas expected to face water disruptions and low water pressure in Kuala Lumpur are Taman Maluri, Taman Angsana Hilir, Kampung Pandan, Taman Segar and Taman Taynton View.

In Hulu Langat, the places include Sungai Besi Indah, Bukit Belimbing, Juara Jaya, Saujana Impian, Beranang, Bukit Semenyih, Sungai Tekali, Selesa Jaya, Taman Utama, Alamsari, Balakong, PKNS Beranang and Kampung Baru Semenyih.

Shortages are also expected in Jalan Klang Lama, Sri Petaling, Desa Petaling and most parts in Section 52 in the Petaling district along with IOI Serdang in the Sepang district.

Syabas corporate affairs executive director Abdul Halem Mat Som said 42 water lorry tankers were already on standby to supply water to the affected areas.

"We will also monitor the situation and inform the public on the latest status of supply," he said.

Abdul Halem said as the dry and hot weather was expected to last until September, consumers should use water wisely and ensure that there is no wastage.

"We also hope that consumers do not do anything that can pollute the rivers so that clean water can be supplied continuously," he added.

Those with enquiries or complaints can call the customer service centre (Puspel) at 1-800-88-5252 or SMS by typing PUSPEL and sending it to 39222.

Currently, Malaysians use an average of 226 litres of water daily, way above our neighbours in the region.

Singaporeans use 154 litres (and plan to lower it to 147 litres by 2020) while the Thais manage with 90 litres.

Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Peter Chin Fah Kui had said 70% of Malaysians use more than they should.

He said the recommended daily limit for Malaysians is 165 litres per person, which means water use has to be cut by 37 per cent.

"If we follow the recommended usage, we can save up to 28.2cu m per household, or RM18.33 (S$7.40) a month," he said.

Meanwhile, heavy rain yesterday morning provided a brief respite for residents in parts of the Klang Valley who had been facing the haze for the past three days.

The downpour and strong winds helped to improve Air Pollutant Index readings slightly reducing the number of areas classified as "Unhealthy" from seven on Saturday to four yesterday.

As of noon, the places listed as "Unhealthy" were Port Klang (API reading of 127), Shah Alam (116), Kuala Selangor (110) and Petaling Jaya (102).

The Meteorological Department had forecast that the southwest monsoon causing the dry weather might last until September.

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