Dry taps for country's wettest town starting today

Water rationing in the country’s wettest town, Taiping, begins today. — file picture
Water rationing in the country’s wettest town, Taiping, begins today. — file picture

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TAIPING, April 3 — Water rationing in the country’s wettest town, Taiping, begins today and will last two weeks.

Public utilities, infrastructure, energy and water committee chairman Datuk Zainol Fadzi Paharuddin said the water rationing will affect 23,719 households in Taiping as well as several areas in Kamunting.

“Although there was heavy rainfall near the Air Kuning dam area over the weekend, we will still go ahead with rationing to control and maintain a healthy level of water supply in the district,” he said.

He said this is the first time water rationing is being carried out in the state.

Perak Water Board (LAP) general manager, Datuk Mohd Yusuf Mohd Isa, said those affected will get water supply every two days.

“They will receive water supply between 2pm until 9pm. The next water supply would be 53 hours later.

“Houses located on higher ground will receive their water supply by water tankers at night,” he said.

Mohd Yusof also urged restaurant operators to use water sparingly and welcomed factory owners who have problems adjusting to the rationing exercise to discuss it with the board.

He also said hospitals and fire stations will not be affected by the rationing exercise.

“Although we plan to carry out the rationing over two weeks, we will reduce the number of accounts if there is more rainfall in the dam area.”

For further information, the public can contact the board at 05-891 1437 or their toll-free line 1-800-88-7788. The full list of affected areas is available on www.lap.com.my.

Meanwhile, the Penang state government has decided not to ration water this month and will implement unscheduled plans to avoid water rationing if the drought persists, said Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.

He said the decision was made unanimously at the exco meeting yesterday after studying the suggestion to ration water supply in April.

“We made the consideration (to ration water supply) following a surprise decision made by the Perak government to implement water rationing in Taiping, which is the wettest town in Peninsular Malaysia,” he said.

Lim said if the weather continues to be dry throughout April, the state government and the Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) will implement an unscheduled plan to upgrade existing efforts.

“In an effort to avoid water rationing, we will also ask the federal government to carry out cloud seeding to create rain in the Muda catchment area in Sungai Muda,” he said.

“We have also informed the Water Supply Department in the Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry for the Kedah government to release water at the Beris Dam to enable us to extract enough water from Sungai Muda,” he said.

Lim said all additional costs to implement the efforts would be borne by the ministry, which had given written assurance to the Penang state government on the matter.

In addition, Lim said the state government had given permission to PBAPP to carry out a study on an increase in water tariff as the last resort to reduce water consumption in Penang, which had recorded the highest consumption rate in Malaysia last year at 295 litres per capita per day.

The water tariff rate in Penang, which is RM0.32 for every 1,000 cubic litres for the first 35,000 litres is the lowest compared to the other states. 

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