BUKIT MERTAJAM, Feb 16 — The Mengkuang Dam will continue to serve as a strategic dam to ensure that water supply in Penang will not be affected by the drought, said Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.
Lim said the Mengkuang Dam expansion project was to serve as a strategic state dam to ensure that water supply to all investors and residents of the state would not be affected.
“When I was Chief Minister of Penang, we had planned to create a strategic water reserve project in the Mengkuang Dam. Besides expanding the dam, we also mapped out the surrounding water catchment areas.
“These are two of the three steps. The third step is to build the infrastructure necessary to ensure adequate water not only for the people but also for investors and traders in Penang,” he told reporters after his visit to the Mengkuang Dam here today.
He added that the plan was to assure everyone that Penang would not hold water rationing exercise even during the dry season.
Also present at the visit were the Perbadanan Bekalan Air Pulau Pinang (PBAPP) chief executive officer Datuk Jaseni Maidinsa, State Welfare, Caring Society and Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh, state welfare, caring Public Utilities, State Utilities and Flood Mitigation Committee chairman Zairil Khir Johari and State Youth and Sports Committee Chairman Soon Lip Chee.
Lim, who is also Bagan Member of Parliament, said water at the Mengkuang Dam had reached 72 per cent capacity.
“I have been informed by Jaseni that the water in this Dam can accommodate all water needs in Penang until the end of the year,” he said.
Meanwhile, Jaseni said Penang was the only state that had planned to provide a strategic dam.
He said strategic dams are dams that store water during the rainy season for use during the dry season.
“As I have explained, the dam is a strategic dam, unlike some other dams like the Air Itam Dam or Teluk Bahang Dam where the water stored is used daily.
“The function of the Mengkuang Dam is storing water, so that during the long drought when water level for daily use drops, we still have the reservoir to supply water during the long drought,” he said.
He also suggested that the federal government build a strategic dam in all states so that excess water in the rainy season would not be wasted by channeling it into the sea but stored in the dam instead. — Bernama