Johor to collect $18.5mil annually from raw water levy

JOHOR BARU: Johor hopes to collect RM50mil (S$18.5 million) annually from the levy imposed for sourcing raw water from the sea, rivers, lakes or even underground in the state.

State Public Works, Rural and Regional Development Committee chairman Datuk Hasni Mohammad said even power plants using ­sea­water to cool their turbine would be subjected to the new rates.

Hasni said the rate for those using water for commercial purposes was 10 sen for each cubic metre of water used while five sen for agriculture purposes such as for oil palm.

"Even those sourcing water from underground for bottled water are subjected to these new rates," he said in an interview.

Hasni said the state was losing millions as there were no proper laws governing the use of raw water at present.

He said the Johor Water Regulatory Body (Bakaj) had issued about 100 permits.

Each location, he added, would be fitted with a meter similar to the ones installed at homes or commercial lots.

"Bakaj officers will check and issue a bill every month for them to pay according to their usage," Hasni added.

He said these new levy was imposed following the implementation of the new Water Enactment in the state which also governs the use of raw water.

On another issue, Hasni said the state was hoping for RM7.674bil from the Federal Government for infrastructure and rural development under his portfolio in the 11th Malaysia Plan beginning next year.