GEORGE TOWN, May 21 – Perbadanan Bekalan Air Pulau Pinang Sdn Bhd (PBAPP), the water supply corporation of Penang, held discussions with the National Water Services Commission (SPAN) to address six crucial water supply topics affecting the state. The meeting took place during a two-day working visit by a SPAN delegation, led by Chairman Tuan Charles Santiago, on May 18th and 19th, 2023. The delegation visited several key sites, including the Sungai Dua Water Treatment Plant, Air Itam Dam, Mengkuang Dam, and Teluk Bahang Dam.

During the discussions, PBAPP presented six key topics for consideration. The first topic was the Water Contingency Plan 2030 (WCP 2030). PBAPP outlined its plan to implement eight essential water supply projects at a cost of RM1.185 billion, aimed at ensuring water supply sufficiency in Penang until 2030. The second topic discussed was the Sungai Perak Raw Water Transfer Scheme (SPRWTS). PBAPP highlighted the significance of this scheme and provided justifications for seeking its implementation by the Federal Government before 2030.

The third topic addressed the incident that occurred on May 14th, 2023, concerning the water level in Sungai Muda. PBAPP shared a detailed chronology of events and its emergency responses to the incident, which resulted in a disruption of water supply to approximately 400,000 consumers in Penang. PBAPP also proposed the establishment of the Ulu Muda Basin Authority (UMBA) as the fourth topic. The purpose of UMBA would be to protect and professionally manage the Ulu Muda Basin, including Sungai Muda, for the common benefit of Perlis, Kedah, and Penang.

The fifth topic was the Mengkuang Dam Expansion Project (MDEP). PBAPP urgently requested assistance from the Federal Government to expedite the completion of this project. The expanded Mengkuang Dam would serve as a drought dam, emergency response dam, and daily water source in the future. Finally, PBAPP discussed its ongoing efforts to finalize the Air Itam Dam Response Plan. The plan aims to address the depletion of the dam’s effective capacity caused by abnormally low rainfall and high water consumption since January 1st, 2023.

PBAPP hopes that by providing data and recommendations to SPAN, the national regulator will support and assist Penang in finding federal-level solutions to these pressing water issues. As a small state facing significant water challenges, Penang relies on the support of the Federal Government to ensure sufficient raw water supply and a stable water distribution system leading up to 2030 and beyond. PBAPP remains committed to addressing these water supply concerns and looks forward to collaborative efforts between state and federal authorities to secure Penang’s water resources for the benefit of current and future generations.