GEORGE TOWN, April 4 – The Penang State Gerakan Party is concerned with PBAPP’s statement that the capacity of the Air Itam dam is currently only at a low level of 38.5%. Parti Gerakan urged the Penang State Government to study implementing a project to increase water capacity at the Air Itam dam or redraw the water supply area from the 3 main dams in Penang.
At the same time, Parti Gerakan hopes that the state government will not use the issue of high water consumption rates as an excuse to increase water tariffs.
- Air Itam Dam was built around 1958 and completed in 1962 with a water storage capacity of 2.16 billion liters.
- Mengkuang Dam which was completed in 1985 with a water storage capacity of 22 billion liters. After the dam upgrade project which started in 2014, the dam’s water storage capacity is 86.40 billion liters.
- The Teluk Bahang Dam was completed in 1999 with a water storage capacity of 18.24 billion liters, it is 8.9 times the water storage capacity of the Air Itam Dam.
- The population around Air Itam area has increased since 1962 where the water storage capacity of Air Itam dam is still at the same level since 60 years ago, of course water consumption around Air Itam area shows an increase.
- Rainfall distribution in the water catchment area of Air Itam dam is decreasing, will the state government find new water sources in nearby areas with higher rainfall distribution to be channeled to Air Itam dam?
- Apart from the water storage level in the Air Itam dam is below 40%, the water storage level in Teluk Bahang dam is still above 70%and Mengkuang Dam is still above 90%.
- Parti Gerakan has proposed that the state government study the feasibility of carrying out the Air Itam dam upgrade project and redraw the water supply area from the three main dams in Penang. At least the support water supply from the Teluk Bahang and Mengkuang dams in the summer which is usually in March to June.
- The State Government needs to take seriously the Gerakan Party’s proposal because areas in Bukit Kukus, Paya Terubong and Bandar Baru Air Itam are likely to have new housing projects around the expressway project in Paya Terubong and Bandar Baru Air Itam．At that time, the Air dam itam certainly could not meet the increasing needs.
- The Gerakan Party argues, it is not wrong for the state government to call on its people to save water, but it should also take into account the population increase factor in the area as it will lead to an increase in water consumption.
- The incident of underground pipe leaks is also one of the issues taken seriously by the people.
Penang State Gerakan Party Youth spokesman Ivan Kung Cheng An and Batu Lanchang State Assembly Penang Gerakan Party spokesman Mike Chen were also present at the press conference.