5 key ar­eas to en­hance, man­age wa­ter re­sources

New Straits Times - - News -

THE Na­tional Wa­ter Re­sources Coun­cil (MSAN) has iden­ti­fied five key ar­eas to en­hance the man­age­ment and de­vel­op­ment of the coun­try’s wa­ter re­sources, said Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Dr Ah­mad Zahid Hamidi.

Zahid, who chaired the 12th MSAN meet­ing in Par­lia­ment yes­ter­day, said the meet­ing touched on state gov­ern­ments ex­pe­dit­ing the ac­qui­si­tion of land for projects un­der the Ru­ral Wa­ter Sup­ply Pro­gramme.

He said the pro­gramme was aimed at lo­cat­ing more wa­ter re­sources in col­lab­o­ra­tion with state wa­ter au­thor­i­ties.

The meet­ing was at­tended by Nat­u­ral Re­sources and En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Dr Wan Ju­naidi Tuanku Jaa­far, Works Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Fadil­lah Yu­sof, Health Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Dr S. Subra­ma­niam, Deputy Fi­nance Min­is­ter Datuk Oth­man Aziz, as well as menteris be­sar and chief min­is­ters or their rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

Zahid said state gov­ern­ments must pro­tect nat­u­ral or man­made wa­ter-catch­ment ar­eas.

He said th­ese in­cluded un­con­trolled de­vel­op­ment and agriculture ac­tiv­i­ties.

“In ad­di­tion to the state gov­ern­ments’ ef­forts to man­age wa­ter, the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment will offer al­ter­na­tive wa­ter re­sources.

“An­other way is to en­cour­age state wa­ter dam op­er­a­tors to fol­low the Malaysia Dam Safety Man­age­ment Guide­lines to en­sure a sys­tem­atic safety pro­ce­dure.

“The gov­ern­ment will re­search meth­ods to store un­pro­cessed wa­ter from rivers.

“This in­cludes the de­vel­op­ment of the Off-River Stor­age sys­tem.”

Zahid, who is also home min­is­ter, said the gov­ern­ment was keep­ing records of all lakes in the coun­try for the pur­pose of turn­ing them into wa­ter re­sources.

PIC BY MOHD YUSNI ARIFFIN

Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Dr Ah­mad Zahid Hamidi chair­ing the 12th Na­tional Wa­ter Re­sources Coun­cil meet­ing in Par­lia­ment, Kuala Lumpur, yes­ter­day.

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