High stress on water supplies by 2020, say researchers

S.Piarapakaran

PETALING JAYA: Greater levels of development and a rising population could cause stress on water supplies in eight states and Kuala Lumpur by 2020, according to two associations.

The World Resources Institute has projected a 1.4 fold increase in stress levels on aqueducts (underground sources of water) at some spots in Kedah, Penang, Kelantan, Perak, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Malacca, Negeri Sembilan and Johor.

Kuah, Kedah, would come under a two-fold increase in the water stress level, according to the projection, the Sunday Star reported.

S.Piarapakaran, president of the Association of Water and Energy Research Malaysia, said Malaysia, being located in the tropics, had sufficient sources of water “but some areas are polluted so this also poses risk.”

SME Association of Malaysia president Michael Kang was reported saying that water-related stress could affect the small and medium scale enterprises in food and manufacturing.

Kang proposed that preventive measures be taken by the government to reduce any possibility of water shortage or rationing. SMEs should know how to recycle water, collect rain water or reserve water.

He gave the example of some mixed concrete factories in China which developed ways of recycling water so that it is not discharged outside.

In 1998, water levels at dams fell to critical levels, causing the government to impose water rationing in the Klang Valley. Selangor was the worst hit, with many businesses badly affected because of the water shortage.