Water shortage expected in six states, says Dr Xavier

PETALING JAYA (March 23): Six states may end up having to endure water rationing owing to the extreme hot weather, says Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Dr Xavier Jayakumar (pictured).

Dr Xavier said the six states that may face water shortages as the weather turns hot and dry due to lack of rainfall are Negri Sembilan, Johor, Perak, Kedah, Pahang and Kelantan.

Meanwhile, three dams have a storage capacity of only around 50%.

"The three dams are Muda Dam at 58.97%, Machap Dam at 55.61% and Sembrong Dam at 54.07%. The dam at Bukit Kwong Dam in Kelantan is at the storage capacity of 37.28%.

"The daily water needs of consumers, be it for residential use, industrial or agricultural have to be controlled. For the padi farmers, water has to be channelled using the rationing method or the rescheduling of padi replanting," Dr Xavier said in a press statement today.

It has been reported that there are places such as Setiu, Terengganu that have not had any rainfall for the past month while Hulu Perak “is already at the critical stage” as the area has not received rain for 56 days.

Dr Xavier said other critical areas which have received less than 25% of the average annual rainfall include Rembau and Tampin in Negri Sembilan and Rompin in Pahang.

Meanwhile, Padang Terap in Kedah, Cameron Highlands and Kuantan in Pahang and Dungun, Hulu Terengganu, Kemaman and Kuala Terengganu are classed under the "dangerous" segment as they have also not received adequate rainfall.

"There needs to be more water supply from Bersi Dam, Muda Dam, Pedu Dam, Ahning Dam and Jus Dam. This is due to active padi replanting in areas around these dams until April.

"The high demand for water for padi agricultural purposes at Sungai Muda is in March, while in Sungai Kedah, it is in April," said Dr Xavier.

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