Syabas expands water rationing, 2.2 million consumers hit

Consumers in the Klang Valley will receive intermittent water supply in the water rationing exercise that is expected to run until March 31. — Reuters pic
Consumers in the Klang Valley will receive intermittent water supply in the water rationing exercise that is expected to run until March 31. — Reuters pic

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CYBERJAYA, Feb 28 — Water disruptions will affect 2.2 million consumers in the Klang Valley once the ongoing water rationing is expanded this Sunday, utility firm Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas) said today.

Consumers will receive intermittent supply in the exercise that is expected to run until March 31, alternating between two days with water and two days of dry taps.

The six affected areas — Kuala Lumpur, Petaling, Klang/Shah Alam, Gombak, Kuala Selangor and Hulu Selangor — will be divided into two zones.

“These two zones will take turns to receive water, two days with water, two days without water,” Syabas technical development executive director V. Subramaniam told reporters today.

In the joint press conference with Syabas, industry regulator National Water Services Commission (SPAN) noted that a dry spell has low water reserves at seven dams in Selangor, with the Sungai Selangor dam and the Klang Gates dam yesterday at critical levels after dropping to 47.57 per cent and 53.54 per cent respectively.

In a bid to conserve water at the dams, the Selangor government decided to reduce the volume of raw water released from the Sungai Selangor dam and the Klang Gates dam by 200 million litres per day and 30 million litres per day, prompting the expansion of water rationing.

With the nod from SPAN for Syabas's water distribution plans, its chairman Datuk Ismail Kasim said that the water rationing exercise may end earlier if water levels in the two dams improve.

Ismail listed down several areas that would be exempt from the water rationing exercise, including the Kuala Lumpur city centre, the federal administration in Putrajaya, Selangor's administration centre in Shah Alam and free trade zones.

The key logistics centres of Port Klang, the Kuala Lumpur International Airport and the Subang airport, as well as private and government hospitals will also be spared from water supply disruption during the water rationing exercise, he said.

Earlier this week, Syabas announced the first stage of the scheduled water distribution plans for three districts in Selangor: Hulu Langat, Kuala Langat and Sepang.

The water rationing for the 60,185 households in the three districts - which started yesterday and will also last until March 31 - was implemented after the closure of water treatment plants Cheras Batu 11 and Bukit Tampoi.

The two plants were shut down by Syabas on January 28 after the hot spell caused ammonia levels in raw water sources to rise.

Today, Syabas operations executive director Yusof B. Saroji said the water utility firm owns 66 tankers and 750 static tanks, but explained that the trucks are only meant as a backup for areas that are unable to receive water despite the scheduled distribution - either due to height or remoteness.

Syabas will also send its tankers to hospitals, dialysis centres and welfare centres.

During the scheduled two-day period of dry taps, consumers must rely entirely on water stored up during the days they receive water.

With today's expansion of water rationing to 431,617 households or 2.2 million consumers, more households could be hit if the Selangor government continues on with plans to eventually cut the daily water release from the Sungai Selangor dam by 500 million litres per day.

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