'Selangor set to face water shortage'

Residents of southern Selangor collecting water.

PETALING JAYA - Even if there is enough water in our dams, it is still not good enough to prevent a crisis if it has not been treated for usage, says the Association of Water and Energy Research Malaysia.

“Sufficient raw water will not prevent a water shortage if there are not enough treatment plants to treat the water,” said its president S. Piarapakaran.

As such, he said a water shortage in Selangor would be inevitable despite there being enough raw water.

“When the demand for water is more than the supply, you are going to have a serious situation. This is what we need to prevent,” he said yesterday.

The National Water Services Commission (SPAN) recently stated that the water reserve margin in the Klang Valley stood at between 2 per cent and 3 per cent when the safe level should be at about 20 per cent.

Piarapakaran said a 3 per cent reserve margin meant the treated water demand and supply was in “a neck and neck situation” which was unhealthy for the water services industry.

Based on the association’s previous study, he said the annual average water demand increase in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya was about 2 per cent.

“So the 3 per cent reserve margin may reduce to a lower level by next year if nothing concrete is done,” he said.

Piarapakaran said it was hard to estimate when a water crisis would hit as the supply needed for each region was different.

Selangor Mentri Besar Azmin Ali had pre­viously said that there was enough water in the dams to meet the needs of the people in the state.

He was responding to Puncak Niaga Holdings Bhd and Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor executive chairman Tan Sri Rozali Ismail, who had warned that the state’s water reserves was currently less than 5 per cent and that it urgently needed the Langat 2 water treatment plant.

Piarapakaran explained that what was of concern was the constraint in treating raw water, not the supply of raw water.