‘We are looking at alternatives’
AID: Govt to help by funding project
KUALA LUMPUR: The Federal government will assist the Selangor government to meet the state’s water needs via alternative solutions.
Natural Resources and Energy Minister Datuk Seri G. Palanivel said the proposals could serve as a solution to the water predicament faced by the state.
He said the alternative water sourcing includes rainwater harvesting system and tapping groundwater sources.
“After discussing the matter with the relevant people in the ministry, we will sit down with Selangor Menteri Besar (Tan Sri) Abdul Khalid Ibrahim to discuss on the possibilities of implementing rain water harvesting and ground water sourcing.
“The ministry is willing to work with the state government in implementing these alternatives if the state government agrees to implementation in the state,” he told reporters yesterday.
Palanivel also revealed that the cabinet at its weekly meeting yesterday discussed these two proposals.
He adds that the National Hydraulic Research Institute of Malaysia (Nahrim), had carried out studies on the potential of developing groundwater using the riverbank filtration technique at Jenderam Hilir, Kuala Langat and Hulu Langat.
Palanivel also said Nahrim had already carried out study and investigations on groundwater sources at the Sungai Langat basin, and had completed a pump and source management model at Olak Lempit in Banting.
On the the high cost of implementing rainwater harvesting system, Palanivel said the federal government could help in funding the project if the system comes into implementation.
“Apart from the government, industries could also do their part to fund the system in industrial areas as well as residential areas.
“Rainwater can be harvested and recycled. Then, this water can be used by people in the areas nearby without having to depend fully on treated water supply,” he added.
Earlier, Palanivel presented grants from Shell Malaysia worth RM294,000 to six organisations for their eight sustainable projects.
Meanwhile, Deputy National Resources and Environmental Minister Datuk Seri James Dawos Mamit said the Selangor state government needs to reassess its effort to use the 'Royal Rainmaking Technology’ from Thailand for cloud seeding operation.
He said Selangor did not have a proper dam system which would cause the water source not to be stored properly in the dams.
"Dams are supposed to store water as water reserves. But if the water is cascading, it will flow to the next dam until it reaches its way to the water treatment plant and the water treatment in Selangor is in Sungai Selangor, not in those dams," he said after opening the largest ‘Paya Bakau’ species tree-planting here.
The Thai technology for the cloud seeding programme has been used in Malaysia.
Yesterday, Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim were reported to have directed Lembaga Urus Air Selangor (LUAS) to seek help from Thailand for the cloud seeding technology as it could provide rains for three times a week in the Selangor dam areas.
Earlier in the Dewan Rakyat, Dawos said a comprehensive study will be conducted to test the level of usability of groundwater as an alternatives water resource in the country.
He said the study to be undertaken by the Mineral and Geoscience Department will be conducted under the 11th Malaysian Plan.
“To ensure the water is completely safe to use, the study will give emphasis to identify arsenic contents in the underground water," he said in reply to Senator Norliza Abdul Rahim.
"The underground water that can be easily found in areas where it frequently rains, has to be given attention as it may be contaminated and be hazardous to health," he
Dawos also said that the ministry did not prevent the states form using underground water as an alternative source, but stressed that such a process had to be carried out in the best possible way.
He said the cost to treat contaminated water in rivers which will be higher, may be translated to users.
"This is also something we do not want, which is why we ensure all water to be treated is clean,"
Dawos also revealed that only 59 per cent of rivers in Malaysia were clean while the rest had been contaminated.