Langkawi to get new water treatment plant next year, minister says

Xavier said the project is expected to cost between RM150 million and RM200 million. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Xavier said the project is expected to cost between RM150 million and RM200 million. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

LANGKAWI, Nov 27 ― The Water, Land and Natural Resources Ministry is currently in discussion with Syarikat Air Darul Aman (SADA) and a private company to build a new water treatment plant next year to boost supply of treated water in this island.

Its minister, Dr Xavier Jayakumar today said the new water treatment plant would have the capacity to treat 21 million litres per day (MLD) and the company, which he did not reveal, said that they would be able to build the plant in six months by adopting a new technology.

“We are discussing with the company as well as SADA to find a suitable financial plan in order to make this project a reality in the next eight months,” he said, expecting the project to cost between RM150 million and RM200 million.

Speaking to reporters after officiating the Fourth International Conference of Water Resources (ICWR 2018) here, he said the tender to build an Off River Storage (ORS) facility would also be out early next year and the construction of this facility is expected to take about four years to be completed.

“We have discussed with SADA and Kedah Menteri Besar (Datuk Seri Mukhriz Tun Mahathir recently) and we have seen the acute need of (an additional) 20 to 25 MLD of treated water for the tourism industry and the people in Langkawi,” he said. 

Dr Xavier said his ministry also planned to table a bill on the National Water Resources Act in Parliament next year as a framework for collaboration between states in sharing water resources.

“Some states have more water (resources), some states have less and thus there is  a need to share. That is where this Water Resources Management Act would come into play,” he said.

He said they are also working on promoting the practices of rainwater harvesting and stormwater storage and the National Water Services Commission (SPAN) and Department of Drainage and Irrigation (DID) had been directed to work with the private sector in working out the designs of such facilities.

According to him, these approaches were meant to increase water resources, while reducing the volume of non-revenue water (NRW) which  currently averages at 33 percent nationwide.

“It has been taken for granted that we have so much water resources with rains throughout the year. That resources (from rainwater and stormwater) have not been tapped in a serious manner,” he added. ― Bernama