PENANG, Tuesday, 18.2.2020 – Cloud seeding operations should be intensified over Penang and Southern Kedah to induce rainfall over dams and water catchment areas, especially the water catchment areas for the dams that release water into Sungai Muda. Sungai Muda is the primary raw water resource for Penang and Southern Kedah.
Perbadanan Bekalan Air Pulau Pinang Sdn Bhd (PBAPP) is optimising the abstraction of raw water daily from Sungai Muda, at the Lahar Tiang Intake, to meet Penang’s needs during this 2020 dry season. More than 80% of the raw water that PBAPP abstracts daily comes from this river.
There are also 14 Kedah water treatment plants that are dependent on raw water from Sungai Muda to meet the needs of Southern Kedah. At the Lahar Tiang Intake, the level of the river has dropped below the alert level of 2.0m since 1.1.2020. It was recorded as 1.9m on 17.2.2020.
There are two dams in Kedah that release water into Sungai Muda to sustain river levels during dry seasons. The capacity of one of these dams, the Muda Dam, has been severely depleted to the level of 6.7% as at 17.2.2020. The capacity of the other dam, the Beris Dam was reported to be 67.2% on 17.2.2020. The reserves of the Beris Dam must last until the rainy season arrives.
As such, it is of the utmost importance that cloud seeding be intensified to induce rainfall in the catchment areas of the Beris Dam, Muda Dam and the other catchment areas in the Sungai Muda river basin.
Mengkuang Dam Strategic Drought Reserves
PBAPP is also drawing down on the strategic drought reserves of the Mengkuang Dam in Seberang Prai to complement raw water abstraction from Sungai Muda daily.
The effective capacity of the Mengkuang Dam was 72.9% on 17.2.2020. However, the Mengkuang Dam, by itself, cannot meet all of Penang’s raw water needs.
This is due to the fact that PBAPP may only draw down a maximum of 300 million litres of water per day (300 MLD) from the Mengkuang Dam, while Penang’s average treated water consumption was 843 MLD in 2019.
Still Highly Dependent on Sungai Muda During this Dry Season
The Mengkuang Dam is fulfilling its role as a strategic drought reserve. It is supporting Penang’s raw water demand. However, this dam can only provide a maximum of 300MLD of raw water per day.
In short, the Mengkuang Dam is helping to meet Penang’s daily raw water needs, provided PBAPP is still able to abstract sufficient raw water from Sungai Muda. In this 2020 dry season, PBAPP and Penang are still highly dependent on raw water abstraction from Sungai Muda, on a daily basis. As mentioned earlier, more than 80% of the raw water that PBAPP abstracts daily comes from this river.
As such, PBAPP is requesting for intensified cloud seeding over catchment areas so that Sungai Muda can provide sufficient water to meet Penang and Southern Kedah’s needs until the rainy season arrives.
In the meantime, we would also like to remind all water consumers in Penang to use water wisely during this dry season. Please support PBAPP’s mission to avoid water rationing at all costs.
For water saving tips, please visit www.pba.com.my.