KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 15 — The country needs to pay serious attention to the impact of rising global temperatures of above 1.1 degrees Celsius which results in dry seasons and frequency of floods, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
He said the matter was emphasised at the Third Meeting of the National Water Council (MAN) 2021 which he chaired virtually today and was also attended by federal ministers, Chief Ministers and Menteris Besar, Chief Secretary to the Government, Secretary-General of the Treasury, as well as heads of the relevant departments and agencies.
According to the prime minister, the meeting recommended that actions that take into account factors on the impact of climate change should be implemented immediately in development planning to avoid increased property damage and loss of life.
Apart from that, he said, the meeting also emphasised the water sector transformation agenda, carried out under the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) to 15MP, that would make the water sector an economic enabler and a generator of dynamic growth by 2040.
“Close cooperation between the federal and the state government is very important in ensuring the success of the transformation agenda,” he said in a statement here today.
The prime minister said in realising that the rapid urbanisation process caused frequent flooding, MAN agreed to the proposal to gazette government’s land reserves to maintain the function of flood retention ponds and river reserves functions, ensure quality of water resources quality and to conserve the environment.
“Disruption to these facilities or components will affect the entire flood mitigation system which includes the main components, namely the rivers and retention ponds,” he said.
Apart from that, he said, MAN also agreed that the action and adaptation of coastal protection for short, medium and long term through nature-based solution should take into account factors on climate change and the sea-level rise.
“This is to ensure the level of coastal protection is able to deal with extreme disasters to reduce the impact of disasters and ensure socio-economic sustainability and national development,” he added.
According to the prime minister, MAN also agreed on the collaboration in the implementation of recycled water between Indah Water Konsortium Sdn Bhd and the states’ water operators to optimise the country’s water resources and contribute towards environmental sustainability through the concept of circular economy in managing the country’s water resources.
Ismail Sabri said the provision of new water sources for use in the non-food industry was one of the government’s strategies as a measure to rehabilitate and conserve water resources as well as to provide additional source of income for water operators.
MAN also took note of two notification papers, namely the division of responsibilities between the Irrigation and Drainage Department; local authorities and other agencies on drainage systems, and monitoring and production of groundwater resources, he added. — Bernama