Water crisis fear grips Melaka

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MELAKA: A consumer association here wants the state government to resolve the people’s worry that a water crisis may happen following speculation that the additional supply from Sungai Gresik in Johor is inadequate to meet demand.

Melaka Consumer and Environment Association chairman K. Murali said residents here have the right to know whether the water supply in Melaka had reached a critical point and whether the supply from Johor would be able to meet the shortage.

“The residents need an affirmative answer (from the state government) whether the situation warrants a full water rationing like what had happened in 1992.

“The dam is drying up fast and the 1990s water crisis can recur, ” he said yesterday.

A drought in late 1991 and a mistake in monitoring the Durian Tunggal Dam level was blamed for the worst water crisis that hit Melaka in early 1992. Locals were forced to buy water containers to store their supply for their daily needs.

Murali said the barometers at three dams show that the levels had dipped to a worrying stage and many households at the city-centre are experiencing low water pressure.

“We received feedback that houses in Bandar Hilir were also affected today (Thursday), ” he said.

Murali said several residential areas in Alor Gajah had also faced low water pressure for the past few days.

Some people also received an unconfirmed message via Whatsapp that Melaka would go on a full rationing exercise today due to the shortage of water.

However, Chief Minister Adly Zahari assured the people that the water shortage has not reached a critical level.

He said that the Durian Tunggal Dam level is at 6,470 million litres and Jus Dam is 19,165 million litres and Asahan Dam is 215 million litres yesterday.

He acknowledged that there is a shortfall in supply but all plans are in place to ensure that there is a steady water supply.

The Chief Minister said the state government has provided a medium and long-term plan to address the shortage of water supply in Melaka.

The state government has finalised a RM35mil project in Tasik Biru in Chinchin, Jasin which is expected to be completed early next year. The lake is expected to pump up to 200 million litres of water per day to the Durian Tunggal Dam in Alor Gajah near here.

Adly said the project for the construction of the Sungai Jernih Dam in Alor Gajah, costing RM270mil, is awaiting approval from the federal government.

The project under the Water, Land and Natural Resources Ministry is expected to start by the middle of 2020 and the land and border acquisition issues had been resolved by the Melaka government.

The Star

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