PENANG, Friday, 26.2.2021 – The operations of a quarry in Teluk Bahang do not affect the quality and quantity of the raw water in Teluk Bahang Dam. On 24.2.2021, several Mandarin newspapers quoted the Penang MCA as stating that there were illegal quarrying activities in Teluk Bahang and that the quarry is very close to the Teluk Bahang Dam. In the newspaper reports, a Penang MCA spokesman was also quoted as saying that the “water level at the Teluk Bahang Dam had been abnormally low” and that the quarrying activities may have affected the dam’s storage levels and water quality.

As such, I would like to clarify the following, the quarry is located outside the water catchment area of the Teluk Bahang Dam. As such, its existence and alleged operations do not affect, threaten or jeopardise the Teluk Bahang Dam’s effective capacity or raw water quality in any way. The quarry is located about 50 metres downhill from the Teluk Bahang water catchment boundary. The laws of physics dictate that rain water or any water from the quarry cannot naturally flow uphill into the Teluk Bahang Dam. The low reported effective capacity levels of the Teluk Bahang Dam in 2020 were not related to the quarry activities.

The primary reason for this abnormal phenomenon is low rainfall in the 12-month period from 1.8.2019 to 31.7.2020. During this period, the total rainfall recorded in the Teluk Bahang Dam’s water catchment area was 4,466mm or 30.3% less than the average recorded rainfall of 6,411mm for the 3-year corresponding period in 2017, 2018 and 2019. The facts and figures regarding the low effective capacities of the dams on Penang Island in 2020 have been highlighted by PBAPP in more than 10 media releases in 2020 and shared with the people of Penang via the resulting mass media reports throughout the year. 

The quality of the treated water supplied from Teluk Bahang Dam is better than the parameters set by the Ministry of Health (MOH) in its Quality Assurance Programme (QAP). As such, we seek the cooperation of the Penang MCA and its spokesmen to kindly stop making baseless allegations and insinuations. The quarry activities have no impact to the water supply engineering operations, quantity and the quality of water supply from the Teluk Bahang Dam.