Awer calls for SPAN to man­age Wa­ter Sup­ply Fund

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPEAK UP -

PETAL­ING JAYA: The As­so­ci­a­tion of Wa­ter and En­ergy Re­search Malaysia (Awer) has urged the govern­ment to place the Wa­ter Sup­ply Fund un­der the Na­tional Wa­ter Ser­vices Com­mis­sion (SPAN).

“SPAN is a tech­ni­cal, ser­vice and eco­nomic reg­u­la­tor for wa­ter ser­vices and they are bet­ter po­si­tioned to man­age this fund to ad­dress wa­ter sup­ply is­sues,” its pres­i­dent S Piara­pakaran said in a state­ment yes­ter­day.

The for­ma­tion of the Wa­ter Sup­ply Fund with a RM500 mil­lion al­lo­ca­tion was an­nounced by the prime min­is­ter dur­ing the Bud­get 2017 an­nounce­ment last Fri­day.

“The al­lo­ca­tion should be strictly for solv­ing wa­ter cri­sis re­lated cap­i­tal ex­pen­di­ture (capex) only. Such capex can be linked to up­grad­ing wa­ter treat­ment ca­pac­ity, adding or in­creas­ing the ca­pac­ity of pol­lu­tion strip­ping fa­cil­ity and adding ser­vice reser­voirs to boost re­serve mar­gin in low wa­ter pres­sure sup­ply zones. Nor­mal capex and op­er­a­tional ex­pen­di­tures must not be sup­ported by this fund,” said Piara­pakaran.

Awer also urged the govern­ment to adopt the Raw Wa­ter Qual­ity Based Raw Wa­ter Tar­iff and Pol­lu­tion Load­ing Fac­tor For Waste­water Stan­dard Up­grade mech­a­nisms to en­sure pro­tec­tion of up­stream and down­stream wa­ter catch­ment ar­eas to cre­ate a holis­tic so­lu­tion in wa­ter re­source man­age­ment.

Piara­pakaran said all state wa­ter op­er­a­tors should be re­struc­tured un­der the Wa­ter Ser­vices In­dus­try Act 2006 model and urged SPAN to re­ac­ti­vate the Non-Rev­enue Wa­ter (NRW) re­duc­tion task force, which was sug­gested by Awer in 2011 and ap­proved by Cabi­net.

“All NRW projects must fol­low strict de­liv­er­able re­quire­ments based on our sug­ges­tions to cou­ple most crit­i­cal NRW zones with high­est con­nec­tion per kilo­me­tre as high pri­or­ity. This will al­low high re­turn on in­vest­ment,” he added.

Awer urged the au­di­tor-gen­eral to au­dit Na­tional Sew­er­age projects and al­low SPAN to have full reg­u­la­tory power over the tech­ni­cal and eco­nomic part of these projects, to avoid waste of pub­lic funds.

Mean­while, Awer has called for an over­haul of the En­ergy Com­mis­sion’s man­age­ment and the clos­ing of re­dun­dant agen­cies in the En­ergy, Green Tech­nol­ogy and Wa­ter Min­istry (KeTTHA).

Piara­pakaran said sev­eral agen­cies have over­lap­ping func­tions and de­spite re­peated ad­vice by Awer, the govern­ment has yet to close down re­dun­dant agen­cies.

“Sew­er­age Ser­vices Depart­ment (JPP) has over­lap­ping func­tion with Pen­gu­ru­san Aset Air Bhd (PAAB), SPAN and IWK. Wa­ter Sup­ply Depart­ment (JBA) has over­lap­ping func­tions with PAAB, SPAN and wa­ter op­er­a­tors,” he said.

Piara­pakaran said the Sus­tain­able En­ergy De­vel­op­ment Agency (Seda) and Yayasan Hi­jau should be shut down as their func­tions can be car­ried out by En­ergy Com­mis­sion and GreenTech Corp Malaysia, re­spec­tively.

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