Kota Marudu Member of Parliament

Nation continues to waste water, says Maximus Ongkili

KUALA LUMPUR: Efforts to reduce Non-Revenue Water (NRW) in the water country have largely been unsuccessful as large amounts of water remain wasted.

Energy, Green Technology, and Water Minister Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili said five states are recording NRW levels in the 40% to 50% range while only three states are below 30%.

"I must confess that we have not made good progress in this area as we are still struggling to lower the (national) 35% level.

"The current scenario seems to suggest that existing work methods and approaches of tackling water loss are not effective," he said at the opening of the Asia Water 2016.

Maximus said the government recognises the urgent need to address the issue in order to achieve the target of having NRW reduced to 25% by 2020.

He said a master plan to address the issue has already been formulated and will be presented to the Cabinet by the end of the month.

The plan will focus on setting up a baseline for NRW data, enhancing current NRW reduction programmes, and rewarding operators which reduced NRW.

Maximus said there is currently no fixed limit on NRW reduction programme investments but the amount largely depends on operators, which in most cases are state-owned companies.

He then advised operators to focus on connector pipes as immediate remedial measures and move on to pipe replacement works from there.

Maximus also noted that there is excess treatment capacity in the water industry currently which may not be matched by raw water availability in the future.

He said operators must also reduce demands via leakage control, reducing per capita consumption, effective stakeholder engagements, and active media campaigns.

Meanwhile, Maximus said the Selangor state government has until October to complete negotiations with Splash Sdn Bhd to complete the water restructuring exercise.

Splash is the only water concessionaire in Selangor that had not accepted the State's offer to take over operations and have asked for RM2.8 billion to surrender its assets.

The other companies, Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas), Puncak Niaga Holdings Berhad (PNHB), and Konsortium Abass Sdn Bhd (Abass) have been absorbed into state-owned Air Selangor Sdn Bhd.

 

Source - The Star