Penang plans cloud seeding as island’s dam levels drop

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow announced that the state has approved an allocation of about RM240,000 to carry out eight more cloud seeding exercises, particularly in the areas over the Teluk Bahang Dam. ― Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow announced that the state has approved an allocation of about RM240,000 to carry out eight more cloud seeding exercises, particularly in the areas over the Teluk Bahang Dam. ― Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

GEORGE TOWN, Aug 5 ― Penang will conduct cloud seeding exercises to address falling water levels at both dams on the island despite getting more rainfall in recent weeks.

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow announced that the state has approved an allocation of about RM240,000 to carry out eight more cloud seeding exercises, particularly in the areas over the Teluk Bahang Dam.

“We hope that with eight more cloud seeding exercises, Teluk Bahang Dam wil record more rainfall so that water rationing is not necessary,” he said in a press conference at his office today.

The CM said most of the rainfall in the state in recent weeks was mainly in the central Seberang Perai area.

He said this led to a higher effective capacity at Mengkuang Dam in that district.

A check of the Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) website showed the effective capacities of the three main dams in Penang at 46.1 per cent for Air Itam Dam, 19.5 per cent for Teluk Bahang Dam and 87.6 per cent for Mengkuang Dam.

The state previously allocated RM300,000 for cloud seeding exercises between April and May when water levels fell due to the dry season earlier this year.

Chow said the Meteorological Department will assess the cloud conditions before cloud seeding exercises are conducted.

“We need clouds as the prerequisite condition to conduct cloud seeding exercises so this will be assessed by the Meteorological Department,” he said.

He said PBAPP will divert water from other sources, such as from Mengkuang Dam, to be used if the need arises.

“Water rationing will only be the last resort,” he said.

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