NILAI, March 27 — Dams nationwide are over 80 per cent full despite the country being in the grip of hot weather, said National Water Services Commission (SPAN) chairman, Charles Anthony Santiago.
“At the moment, there is no issue with water supply and the level at dams is OK at more than 80 per cent,” he told Bernama today after officiating the 1st International Conference on Contemporary Issues 2019.
“However, there is a water supply problem in a few areas in Kedah and Kota Tinggi (Johor) because of a problem with the water treatment plant. It should be fixed because upgrading works in Merbok and pipe replacement in Tanjung Dawai were approved by Water, Land Natural Resources Minister, Dr Xavier Jayakumar, on Saturday,” he said.
In spite of the good news, Santiago advised the public to use water sparingly and collect rainwater because although the heavens have opened up, dams may not be topped up.
“Even if it rains in your area, what is called ‘runoff water’ won’t fill up dams. Which is why it is better to collect the rain and use it for washing your car and so on,” he said, recommending a fortnightly car cleaning if necessary.
In a prior report, Dr Xavier had said that the country’s hot weather will last till May and that dry conditions will cause river and dam levels in Johor, Negri Sembilan, Perak, Kedah, Pahang and Kelantan to drop, with annual rainfall from April-May forecast at less than 25 per cent.
In his speech at the conference, Santiago said that factors like globalisation and internationalisation; open knowledge and big data; augmented and artificial intelligence; robotics and digitalisation; climate change and sustainable development; as well as insufficiency of food, water and natural resources will bring about significant changes and pose a great challenge to mankind.
Hence, he said: “We need a paradigm shift in thinking and creativity, including new operational approaches and steadfast political decisions here and abroad.
“High-quality research and research-based teaching offers solutions and provides students with solid skills for the future, thus lifelong learning remains increasingly important and relevant.” — Bernama