‘Strategic’ Mengkuang dam to ensure enough water for Penang residents, investors

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng during his visit to the Mengkuang dam in Bukit Mertajam, Penang, today. On the right is Perbadanan Bekalan Air Pulau Pinang CEO Jaseni Maidinsa. (Bernama pic)

BUKIT MERTAJAM: The Mengkuang dam is being expanded as a “strategic dam” to ensure adequate water supply not only for the state’s residents but investors as well.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the dam will ensure adequate water supply even during the dry season, so there is no need for rationing.

“When I was the chief minister, we had planned to create a strategic water reserve project at Mengkuang. Besides expanding the dam, we also mapped out the surrounding water catchment areas.

“The third step is to build the infrastructure necessary to ensure adequate water not only for the people but for investors in Penang as well,” he told reporters after visiting the dam here today.

Lim, who is also the Bagan MP, said water at the Mengkuang dam has reached 72% capacity.

He said he had been informed by Perbadanan Bekalan Air Pulau Pinang (PBAPP) chief executive officer Jaseni Maidinsa the dam can accommodate Penang’s water needs until the end of the year.

Jaseni said Penang is the only state to have planned a strategic dam to store water during the rainy season for use during the dry period.

This, he said, is unlike the Air Itam and Teluk Bahang dams on the island, where the water stored is used daily.

“The function of the Mengkuang dam is to store water, so that during the long drought when the water level drops, we still have adequate supply,” he said.

Jaseni suggested that the federal government build strategic dams in all states so that excess water during the rainy season would not be wasted by channeling it into the sea.

Lim was accompanied by executive councillors Phee Boon Poh, Zairil Khir Johari and Soon Lip Chee.