News: Johor to prevent illegal usage of river water in view of El Nino

The Star, 2 Jun 2014

NUSAJAYA: Johor will be monitoring its rivers to prevent illegal water usage to ensure that there is enough water during the El Nino phenomenon that is expected to hit the country from now till September.

State Public Works, Rural and Regional Development executive councillor Datuk Hasni Mohammad said the state would take stern action against those engaged in the illegal usage of water from the rivers in Johor such as farmers, animal breeders and factory operators.

In view of that, the Johor Water Regulatory Authority (Bakaj) would also be closely monitoring the 21 rivers and nine dams, which supply raw water to 45 water treatment plants statewide.

“We will not hesitate to seize their equipment or take them to court for illegal use of rivers, which are considered government property,” he said during his speech at the state assembly sitting here yesterday.

Hasni was replying to questions by Ayub Jamil (BN-Rengit), Lau Chin Hoon (BN-Pemanis), Dr Sheikh Ibrahim Salleh (PAS-Sungai Abong), Tan Hong Pin (DAP-Mengkibol) and Jimmy Puah Wee Tse (PKR-Bukit Batu) about the state’s preparations to face the El Nino phenomenon and its efforts to ensure there will be enough water for the people’s daily usage during the anticipated dry spell.

Hasni (BN-Benut) said another measure taken by the state was to maintain the water level at dams at a minimum of 80% adding that a scheduled water usage exercise would be activated if the water level dropped to 40%.