As water usage rises, Penang says may start rationing

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the state may soon be compelled to start water rationing. — Picture by K.E. Ooi
Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the state may soon be compelled to start water rationing. — Picture by K.E. Ooi

KUALA LUMPUR, March 30 — Penang may be compelled to start water rationing soon, its Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said today, noting that increased consumption state-wide was putting a strain on its dams.

The DAP lawmaker said a review of its previous decision followed in the wake of neighbouring Perak to also limit household consumption of water in Taiping, Peninsular Malaysia’s “wettest town”.

The state executive council will make a decision on April 2, he added.

“The Penang state government wishes to express grave disappointment that our water consumption continues to rise despite the numerous educational programmes and imposition of water conservation surcharges as a penalty on those who waste water,” Lim said in a statement.

He highlighted that Penang consumers had used the highest amount of water nationwide last year, with the average person in the state consuming 295 cubic litres.

The amount for the first two months of the year stood at 311 cubic litres, a rise of 5.4 per cent, he said.

The Bagan MP advised consumers to conserve water, pointing out that Penang’s water consumption was currently 50 per cent higher than the national average consumption of 215 cubic litres per person a day.

Perak state executive councillor in charge of Public Facilities, Infrastructure, Energy and Water Committee chairman Datuk Zainol Fadzi Paharuddin has said that Taiping would have to undergo water rationing due to the dwindling water supply following the prolonged dry spell.

Water rationing there is expected to affect some 28,000 of the total 85,000 water account holders for two weeks starting from April 3.

Selangor, already undergoing water rationing since February, will now continue to do so until April 30, its main supplier, Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd said last Friday.

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