BERA: Groundwater use in Malaysia is less than 3% despite its capacity of 5 trillion cubic meters of groundwater resources and regeneration capacity of 64 billion cubic meters per year, said Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
The Prime Minister said this massive capacity means groundwater could be an alternative source of water supply for the country, but for now it is only used as a source of drinking water in Kelantan, Terengganu , Pahang, Sabah and Sarawak.
He said countries with high groundwater use included Denmark at 100%, Austria (98%), Thailand (80%), China (78%) and the United States (50%).
“The National Water Resources Study (NWRS) for Peninsular Malaysia (2000-2050) revealed that groundwater can be used as an alternative source of water for rural and remote areas and for a variety of purposes including l industry, agriculture and domestic through several appropriate methods and processes.
Ismail Sabri said so while launching the national celebration of World Water Day 2022 here yesterday. Also present was the Minister of Environment and Water Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man.
Ismail Sabri said that the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources through the Department of Minerals and Geosciences (JMG) is implementing activities such as mapping, development, monitoring and development of data center and groundwater inventory to increase groundwater use.
“This measure aims to increase the use of groundwater as a co-source of water supply for the use of structures such as underground dams, managed aquifer recharge and riverbank filtration,” he said. he stated, quoted by Bernama.
In a related development, Ismail Sabri said that the government is reviewing the National Water Resources Policy (DSAN), taking into account the current situation and the challenges facing the country’s water sector, adding that it will be aligned with the Water Sector Transformation Plan 2040 and development plans under the 12th Malaysian Plan (12MP).
The DSAN emphasizes the need for environmental protection to conserve water resources, with its main orientations on ensuring and sustaining adequate and secure water resources through conservation and effective management. .
Ismail Sabri said that although Malaysia has sufficient resources to provide safe and treated water, there are still water management issues and challenges that need to be addressed effectively to achieve sustainable management and holistic view of the country’s water resources.
Problems include excessive amounts of water during the rainy season, insufficient amounts during droughts as well as deteriorating water quality and uneven distribution, he said.
The Prime Minister also hoped that the federal government, state governments, departments and agencies will work together to implement water resources management in an integrated manner as well as the continued conservation of water resources to ensure availability.
Ismail Sabri, Member of Bera Assembly, said that the implementation of Environmentally Friendly Drainage Master Plan (Pisma) for Bera City by the Department of Irrigation and Drainage can be used as guide and reference for systematic and sustainable future development plans.
The project, among other things, involves a drainage system to reduce the risk of flooding and is expected to benefit around 100,000 inhabitants of the Bera region when completed.
During the celebration, under the theme “Sustaining Water Resources: Utilizing Groundwater”, Ismail Sabri also launched a book entitled Air dan Pembentungan di Malaysia: Sejarah Serta Perspektif (Water and Sewerage in Malaysia: History and Perspective), which can be used as reference material by students, researchers and institutions.