Cloud seeding delayed as Penang dam hits record low

PBA chief executive Jaseni Maidinsa (blue mask) at Teluk Bahang dam. (Bernama pic)

GEORGE TOWN: Eight cloud-seeding operations planned for the water catchment areas of Teluk Bahang dam have been delayed, the Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBA) said today.

PBA chief executive Jaseni Maidinsa said the first series of the operations to be carried out by a private contractor were originally scheduled for implementation by the end of August.

“However, on Aug 24, the private contractor informed the Badan Kawal Selia Air (BKSA) that the cloud-seeding operations could not be carried out as scheduled.

“The reason stated by the private contractor is that it has not received the ‘flares’ that are needed for cloud-seeding operations,” he told reporters at Teluk Bahang dam here today.

The flares, he said, were chemical substances which would help improve the cloud’s ability to produce rain.

Jaseni urged the BKSA to contact the Malaysian Meteorological Department to expedite the implementation of the first series of cloud-seeding operations which can hopefully be carried out in September.

Emergency water diversion from Sungai Pinang catchment

He also said PBA would be commissioning a contingency raw water project to refill the Teluk Bahang dam next month, where it would divert raw water from the Sungai Pinang water catchment area near the Titi Kerawang waterfall into the dam.

“This project will allow the Teluk Bahang Dam to tap two raw water resources, namely the Teluk Bahang water catchment area and the Sungai Pinang water catchment area, which is about 8.6km away by road.”

He said the project was another component in PBA’s overall plan to defend the low effective capacity of the Teluk Bahang Dam until the rainy season arrives.

“As at Aug 28, the effective capacity of the Teluk Bahang Dam was 16.4%, which is sufficient for 51 days of supply without rain,” he said.