GEORGE TOWN, April 15 — Perbadanan Bekalan Air Pulau Pinang (PBAPP) has urged the Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) to accelerate cloud seeding operation in the northern peninsular to address the low water levels in six major dams in Penang and Kedah, following the unusual drought.
PBAPP chief executive officer Datuk Jaseni Maidinsa said as of yesterday, the effective capacity of the major dams in Penang, namely Air Itam, Teluk Bahang and Mengkuang, was at 33.3 per cent, 20.9 per cent and 68.3 per cent respectively, while the water level at Sungai Muda has dropped to 1.29 metres, which is way below the critical level of 1.5 metres. (Normal water level at Sungai Muda is at least 2.0 metres).
He said, the effective capacity of major dams in Kedah, namely Muda, Beris and Pedu, was 4.4 per cent, 39.6 per cent and 33.4 per cent respectively.
“According to MetMalaysia, the country is currently experiencing monsoon transition and rain is expected. However, we are requesting cloud seeding to be done immediately to help us tackle the risk of insufficient rainfall.
“It is better to conduct cloud seeding now because the current presence of rain clouds will increase the success rate of triggering rain.
“We need more rain in the six major water catchment areas in both Penang and Kedah, as well as Sungai Muda, as both states need sufficient water supply to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said in a statement today.
Jaseni said in the current unusual drought scenario, PBAPP could not aggressively release the low water reserves from the dams, to provide raw water to the water treatment plants.
In addition he had also received complaints of low water pressure or intermittent water disruption in the last few days, especially at the higher grounds or areas at the far end of the pipeline in Pokok Ceri, Hye Keat Estate (Air Itam), Flat 420 Penang Hill Park, Kampung Paya Terubong, Kampung Gertak Sanggul and Mount Erskine (behind the Lorong Air Terjun).
“PBAPP has taken action by dispatching water tankers to the affected areas, as well as increasing water supply from Air Itam and/or Batu Ferringhi Water Treatment Plants to address these issues.
“We apologise to consumers who are currently experiencing low water pressure or water disruption problems. We will do our best to alleviate the problem.
He added that PBAPP will keep focusing on their objective ‘to avoid water rationing in any circumstances’ until the capacity of the dams are adequately filled with rainwater.