Water management should be federalised


THE government should consider federalising the management of water for the sake of national interest, said Acting Deputy Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri SK Devamany.

He said a national entity that can regulate water source, usage and distribution should be created to better manage the nation’s water industry.

“The federal government has no right to intervene in the state’s water management systems. Instead, the best way is to streamline and federalise,” he told reporters at the press conference of AsiaWater 2018 in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Devamany said the Selangor government should also play a more proactive role as further delays will only cause more water disruptions.

“The state government has to put aside political differences and work together with the federal government for the sake of the people by ensuring that continuous supply of treated water is provided for those living in Putrajaya, Kuala Lumpur and Selangor,” he said.

According to him, the Selangor government has been given until July 2018 to implement the water migration process to prevent water crisis in the state from worsening.

“The Langat 2 Water Treatment Plant, which has completed the testing and commissioning process, will then be left idle.

“Langat 2 will be able to supply a 10% to 20% margin of Selangor’s water storage, which amounts to 565 million litres per day,” he added. Devamany sites Negri Sembilan and Melaka as exemplary states that have improved their water treatment and supply after restructuring.

He said the federal government will make the effort to complete it as swiftly as possible as long as Selangor gives its full cooperation.

“State governments should also be addressing waste, reducing non-revenue water, encouraging reuse, educating and creating awareness, introducing incentives and disincentives, and including a strategy tariff,” he added.

Devamany said downstream water conservation can be another way to better manage the nation’s water industry.

“I think downstream water conservation is a brilliant idea. It has been implemented in a few states such as Johor, Miri in Sarawak, and Melaka,” he said.

The AsiaWater 2018 received about 18,000 visitors from 57 countries to discuss the policy and governance of efficient and sustainable water resources.