A RM500mil Water Supply Fund will be set up to address water supply issues in the country.
This comes as the country’s most populous state Selangor was hit with weeks of water cuts and rationing after treatment plants were forced to stop due to pollution in rivers that supply raw water to the state. The cuts affected over three million state residents.
Water groups foresee the fund going into adding more service reservoirs and upgrading water treatment plants in the event of a water crisis.
The Government also continued its RM650mil annual allocation for grants and loans under the 11th Malaysia Plan to fix issues like leakages.
The allocations for the Water Supply Fund was a win for water groups, but Association of Water and Energy Research Malaysia (Awer) president S. Piarapakaran said the fund has to be placed in the right hands for it to make a real positive impact.
He wants the National Water Services Commission (SPAN) to handle the fund rather than other ministries like the Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry, saying that the commission was better informed on how to use the money more wisely.
“SPAN is the regulator of the water services industry and this fund should be utilised for emergency capital expenditure like upgrading treatment facilities (either capacity increase or adding pollution stripping facility).
“It can also be used to boost water supply reserve margin by increasing service reservoirs in sub-urban and rural areas,” he said.