KUALA TERENGGANU, Dec 18 — Residents in Terengganu need not panic with the forecast of the state to be hit by a serious dry spell and floods in the next five or 10 years.
Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Applied Social Sciences, Sultan Zainal Abidin University (UniSZA), Associate Professor Dr Mohd Khairul Amri Kamarudin said they should instead exercise prudent use of water supply, as well as for the relevant authorities to make the necessary preparations, including in managing the Lake Kenyir Dam, Syarikat Air Terengganu Sdn Bhd (SATU) and the Lembaga Sumber Air Terengganu (LAUT).
He said, Terengganu has the Kenyir Dam, which is one of the largest dams in Southeast Asia and it plays an important role in the management of water resources in the Terengganu River Basin.
“Prior to the construction of a dam, various studies, such as the environmental impact assessment (EIA), have been conducted, as well as to anticipate the impact and role of dams in addressing drought or flood issues on the ecosystem.
“Usually, the results of the study will give an ideal value to the dam management to release water in various situations, including during the drought to ensure survival of the habitat in risky areas,” he told Bernama recently.
Recently, the National Hydraulic Research Institute of Malaysia (Nahrim) said that Terengganu will experience severe drought between 2025 and 2030 due to the El Nino phenomenon, followed by more frequent floods between 2030 and 2035 in line with the emergence of La Nina.
It is the result of an evaluation report made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) using the ‘big data’ method.
Commenting further, Mohd Khairul Amri said SATU, as the water operator in Terengganu, also needed to be prepared with through planning to face the drought, even though the state has many water resources.
“Last December 1, the state government set up SATU for a more efficient and integrated management of water resources in Terengganu, where almost all bodies related to water management in Terengganu are placed under the supervision of LAUT.
“This is a good initiative because various policies and guidelines in maintaining water resources in Terengganu can be better managed sustainably and integratedly, including long-term action to deal with the drought problems based on the predictions made,” he added.
Asked on preparations for major floods, he said the Kenyir Dam had proven to be very effective in controlling the water flow during the big floods in Terengganu in 2014.
“The dam management lowered the water level in the lake to make early preparations to receive high rainfall at the beginning of the monsoon season and as a result, the residential areas near Sungai Terengganu such as Kuala Terengganu, Kuala Nerus and part of Marang were not flooded at that time.
“However, more thorough preparations need to be made so that floods due to heavy rainfall in other districts can be minimised to reduce losses,” he said. — Bernama