PETALING JAYA, March 25 — With the current dry and hot spell expected to persist until May, will Selangor be forced to follow Kedah and Johor in imposing water rationing?
Several areas in Kedah and Johor have begun water rationing as early as March 17, following a significant drop in the water level of their dams — some to below the halfway mark.
Checks by Malay Mail on the Integrated Water Resource Information Management System website run by Lembaga Urus Air Selangor today showed that seven dams in Selangor have recorded water levels above 80 per cent, with only the Langat Dam at 77 per cent.
With those numbers, Selangor Mentri Besar Amirudin Shari appears to be cautiously optimistic that the state will see through the dry weather.
“The state government is always prepared to face droughts with sufficient water supply. One of the state government’s initiatives is ‘Off River Storage (ORS)’,” he said on Twitter today.
“I hope the people will use the water supply with care to ensure the conservation of water,” he added.
Kerajaan Negeri sentiasa bersedia untuk menghadapi musim kemarau dengan bekalan air yang mencukupi. Antara inisiatif Kerajaan Negeri ialah ‘Off River Storage’.— Amirudin Shari (@AmirudinShari) March 25, 2019
Saya berharap agar rakyat dapat menggunakan bekalan air dengan berhemah agar dapat menjamin kelestarian bekalan air. https://t.co/FJgdFevAaE
ORS involves the construction of mitigation ponds to prevent flooding during the monsoon season but in the event of a drought, the water stored in them would be pumped out.
While Selangor is no stranger to the occasional water cuts, it is however one of the country’s most developed states with multiple light, medium and heavy industrial areas having high water dependency rate.
According to state government-owned Invest Selangor Berhad, there are a total of 13 industrial parks scattered across the state from the north near Serendah to the south in Sepang.
For one, water rationing would severely impede these industries that rely heavily on water supply in their daily operations and a shortage could possibly lead to their output being disrupted.
With a population of almost 6.47 million people as of 2018 and an average national water consumption of 250 litres per person, water conservation does matter for Selangor.
However, Selangor residents can be assured that water rationing may not be implemented in the near future although it remains a possibility.
But as Amirudin puts it bluntly, Selangor folks should all be frugal in their water consumption and avoid any unnecessary wastage, lest they forget how tedious it was to queue in line with their pails.