New Bill to strengthen water resources management in States

PUTRAJAYA (April 30): The Water, Land and Natural Resources Ministry has drafted the Water Resources Bill for use by all States to strengthen the management and control of water resources and related enforcement actions throughout the country.

Its Minister Dr A Xavier Jayakumar said this effort included the launching of discussions on and coordination of issues relating to water resources shared by two or more States.

“This Bill needs the full support and acceptance of all State Governments to ensure that issues like river pollution can be tackled effectively in an integrated manner.

“In this matter, the Ministry is holding joint consultation sessions with State Governments on the implementation of the Bill,” he told a media conference at his office here yesterday.

Dr Xavier said this to clarify a newspaper report on Sunday titled “National Water Resources Under Threat”, which said no action had been taken to save and rehabilitate polluted rivers.

Dr Xavier said the Ministry viewed seriously issues concerning the management of national water resources, especially those involving rivers that are the main source of treated water supply.

“The Ministry through the Drainage and Irrigation Department (JPS) has implemented a structural approach like building infrastructure for treating river water and installing log booms at several locations of major rivers,” he said.

The Minister said a non-structural approach had also been implemented via the Integrated River Basin Management (IRBM) strategy to achieve certain objectives, including ensuring the sufficient supply of clean water.

To achieve this, the Ministry had, through JPS, provided the IRBM plan which can be used as a reference by State Governments and other parties with interest in planning land development and land use in river basins which may have an impact on rivers.

Based on the Environmental Quality Report 2017, a total of 32 rivers out of the 417 monitored by the Department of Environment throughout the country have been classified as polluted.


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