BENTONG, May 22 – The Pahang-Selangor Raw Water Transfer Project is expected to be fully completed on Dec 20, Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili said Thursday. The project, which comprised four components or packages – raw water tunnel, Kelau Dam, Semantan River intake and pumphouse, and twin pipeline, was 96 per cent complete, he added. “In early August, as a trial, we will channel some 500 million litres a day to Sungai Langat which has three water treatment plants,” he told reporters after a visit to the project site here.

Ongkili said the trial was a move to increase the water in the river because the country was expected to experience a dry spell from June due to the El Nino effect. When fully complete, the project would have the capacity to channel 1.89 billion litres of water a day from Pahang to Selangor to meet the needs of consumers in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya up to 2025. Asked about the ministry’s preparation to face the effects of El Nino, Ongkili said a national-level committee had been set up headed by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

“The committee, comprising 10 ministers and representatives of state governments, will meet in two weeks to seek effective ways to handle the effects of El Nino, particularly by the agriculture and water sectors,” he said. El Nino is a complex series of climatic changes affecting the equatorial Pacific region and beyond every few years, characterised by the appearance of unusually warm, nutrient-poor water off northern Peru and Ecuador, typically in late December. The United Kingdom Meteorological Office is projecting that El Nino will be descending on Southeast Asia in mid-2014.

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