Laman Utama Berita Terkini Isu Umum Reliable and Safe Water Consumption for Consumers
Reliable and Safe Water Consumption for Consumers PDF Print E-mail
Written by Admin 3   
Friday, 14 July 2017 11:06

It is ironic that Malaysia which is blessed with 2,500 mm rainfall annually, should experience water shortages. For many households, especially in Selangor, Kedah, Penang, Pahang, Johor and Kelantan, water is an unreliable source. Water cuts are frequent. Consumers are always stressed and worried; will there be water tomorrow? Or will they be getting in a WhatsApp message that there will be water disruptions because of a burst pipe or read in the newspaper that thousands or even millionsof households will not be having water supply due to contamination at the water processing plant that serves their area. Consumers are even more stressed when a festive season is approaching or they are planning a family event such as a weeding. Will there be water? Water disruptions have become too common, causing stress and pain for consumers and households. Consumers simply have no trust and confidence in the water system in this country.

Three major causes of these water disruptions are broken pipes, water pollution and rapid urbanisation. Broken pipes are the cause of non-revenue water losses.  They are also causes of unscheduled water disruptions causing pain and suffering to consumers. Water pollution is perhaps the biggest cause of contaminated water and thus water disruptions to households. Water pollution is primarily caused by industrial waste, sewage and waste water, chemical fertilisers and pesticides, dumping of garbage and leakage from landfills. Deforestation and excessive logging also contribute to water wastage and water contamination. Thirdly, the expanding urban population and the excessive use of water by consumers also leads to water wastage and water shortages.

What is the way forward? Cleary, the responsibility of reliable, safe and affordable water rests on both federal and state government and several agencies. Most importantly, water issues should not be politicised.  Water constitutes a basic human need for all. Safe water is necessary for human consumption and to sustain life. Planning for a reliable water supply thus needs a holistic approach. Thus Forum Air Malaysia strongly proposes that federal and state agencies put their differences aside to focus on the need to provide reliable, safe and affordable water to consumers. There should also be greater inter-agency cooperation and collaboration, to ensure especially that water pollution threats are minimised, if not entirely eliminated.  There should be greater cooperation and collaboration between state water operators and SPAN, the water regulator to ensure that consumers in the states have access to safe and reliable water. SPAN should focus on regulating and enforcing the water industry to comply with established standards and practices to ensure reliability, safety and affordability of water supply to households.  Finally, on the demand side more awareness and education programmes need to be undertaken to promote better water consumption and conservation by consumers. Consumers in Malaysia consume way above the international standards of water consumption.  Better awareness and education should promote more responsible water consumption.

Datuk Paul Selva Raj


President, Forum Air Malaysia


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