Thursday, September 25, 2014

Water Woes: Is Selangor Drowning In Denial?

PETALING JAYA: Despite the water level at the Sungai Selangor dam dipping drastically from 37% in February-March this year to a dangerous 33.46% as of Sept 24, officials are still optimistic that no water rationing is required in the state of Selangor.

Water Forum Malaysia Manager Foon Wen Lian said that Lembaga Urus Air Selangor (Luas) had also taken note of this situation and confirmed that water levels were at a “critical stage” despite the cut off point pegged at 30%.
When speaking to FMT yesterday, Foon maintained that a water rationing exercise was not needed “as the ‘hot season’ is supposed to end soon.”

Citing the Meteorological Department, Foon also said that the period between October to December would be the “wettest season”, and that hopefully, more rain would signal the end of Selangor’s water crisis.
When contacted by FMT, Luas refrained from commenting about the water issue apart from saying that with the new appointment of Azmin Ali as the Menteri Besar, further discussions were needed.
However MP for Klang Charles Santiago took a less optimistic view saying Selangor was still very much in “water crisis” mode that left the state in a “vulnerable condition”.
Santiago said, “We are still at a critical level so we have to be careful. Thank God for the rain, but we can’t really predict the weather, whether it will be sunny or rainy in the coming months.”
Santiago also said that it is now up to the state government to conserve water, and to educate people on water conservation, “Or else, by March-April next year, there will be another round of water rationing.”
Commenting on the 30% critical cut off point which was brought down from its initial 37% at the “state government’s convenience”, Santiago said it was a wrong move because it misled the people into thinking things were still fine.
Besides that, the lawmaker maintained that the health report conducted on water from unused mines in Bestari Jaya be made public, as it was only right that the people knew the facts.
Santiago added, “The state government hired an American firm to conduct water tests. That report must be made public as well.”

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