This was 6 years ago on water security index when Malaysia were in par with South Korea, Japan and Singapore on water security (capacities to secure enough water for their people). Image source: Recap Asia
With the regular incidents of pollution, will the level of water security will go down the drain and put Malaysia water security at jeopardy?
Back in March 2019, the Association of Water and Energy Research President S. Piarapakaran said that at present, Malaysia’s water security was still inadequate:-
He said that there was a need to increase the raw water reserve margin and to reduce non-revenue water, which referred to treated water that was lost before it reaches consumers, due to factors such as leakage.
There were even question as to why Malaysia is having water shortage problem when in reality, Malaysia is blessed with more than one source of water. This was an interesting article in NST back in July 2019:-
Water cuts should not be a thing in Malaysia, not because we are aspiring to be a first world nation, but because of the water resources we have.
We have 189 river basins, we receive almost 3,000mm of annual rainfall and we can access seawater easily. Malaysia should have no water shortage at all.
Our reliance on rivers mean that anything unforeseen, such as pollution cases, or war and sabotage, will leave millions of people and various industries without water. We must diversify our water sources.
Firstly, we should look into stormwater management. With an annual 3,000mm rainfall, we generate a lot of runoff every time it rains. The runoff enters drains and sewers before being discharged into water bodies.
The problem is that we do not direct this source of water to treatment plants. Although the runoff will pick up a lot of pollutants from city pavements and sewer systems, we can treat the water for potable use.
Another huge untapped source of water is seawater. Malaysia has easy access to the South China Sea and Straits of Malacca. Building desalination plants along the coast will alleviate water stress.
In my previous posts, I highlighted that it is high time that these water polluters are terrorists and the act of polluting waters designated for water for consumers as terrorist attacks. Firstly they caused a massive water disruption to thousands of consumers and then now, there have been huge complaints of foul smell which causing a major concern on the quality of water.
In my residential area, there was a big concern on the quality of water with several of my neighbours complaining of foul smell of the water out of their taps and they have been complaining to Air Selangor since last week.
It seems like mine was not the only neighbourhood with complaints of foul smell:-
Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Air Selangor) has resolved as of 6pm, the foul-smelling water issue for 27 areas in Selangor.
Its Customer Relations and Communications chief Abdul Raof Ahmad in a statement today said another six areas were still facing the problem.
He said the affected areas were Puchong Prima, Seri Kembangan and Saujana Puchong in Petaling; Seksyen 3, Bangi in Hulu Langat; Salak Tinggi, Sepang; and Saujana Putra, Kuala Langat.
Aside from inspecting and cleaning the piping system in the affected areas, Air Selangor had also inspected and cleaned 160 service reservoirs.
“The inspection as well as cleaning of the reservoirs and distribution system is still going on and Air Selangor is making every effort to restore the situation to normal,” he said.
If one adds up the cost of effort to test, identify and clean up, the cost of bottled waters by residents who complaint of foul smell (I know because we bought a car load of bottled water last week when we had the disruption & reports of “bad” water) and cost of medical & hospitalisation for the extreme cases, it is not going to be cheap.
Who is going to pay for it? Can we claim back from the polluters?
Just because some selfish morons decided to take a shortcut and pollute the water the easy way, others are made to suffer. Should we go easy on people like this? What if the next time, some moron put even more dangerous things on the rivers and other water sources?
You tell me.