Penang exco says water in Air Itam Dam can last only till end June

·2-min read
Malay Mail
Malay Mail

GEORGE TOWN, May 9 — The effective capacity of the Air Itam Dam on Penang island has dropped to 41 per cent and can only last till the end of June if the current dry season continues, state executive councillor Zairil Khir Johari said today.

The state committee chairman for infrastructure and transport urged residents to reduce their consumption as well as conserve water, saying that high consumption has been depleting the dam’s capacity.

“The water supply in Air Itam Dam can only last for 42 days if it doesn’t rain,” he told a press conference in Komtar here.

He said there has been very little rain in water catchment areas since January.

The Air Itam Dam supplies to about 6,000 consumers in Air Itam and Paya Terubong.

Zairil said high water consumption is recorded in hawker areas and food courts in Air Itam and Paya Terubong.

He said the Teluk Bahang Dam on the north side of the island will be able to last 146 more days unless rain falls in the catchment areas.

He said one of the reasons for the depleting water levels in both dams were due to high water consumption aside from lack of rainfall at water catchment areas.

“Domestic consumption of water is the highest in the state and in the country,” he said.

He said Penang also topped the list in the country with the highest consumption of 286 litres per capita per day (LCD).

“Even in Singapore, they use around 100 LCD, we are almost double that,” he said.

Zairil said Penang recorded more rainfall at the end of April this year compared to last year, but the rains were just not falling at the catchment areas.

Last weekend, a cloud seeding exercise was conducted at water catchment areas on the island, after which the Air Itam Dam was found to be at 41.5 per cent full and Teluk Bahang Dam at 48.4 per cent.

The Penang Water Supply Corporation yesterday recommended that a second round of cloud seeding to trigger rainfall in the water catchment areas of the Air Itam Dam and Teluk Bahang Dam.