The Star, 22 Sep 2014
PETALING JAYA: The Sungai Selangor dam, the state’s largest, has barely seen an increase in its level despite the current rainy spell.
According to the Selangor Water Management Authority (LUAS) website, the dam was at 33.13% capacity as of 8am Saturday.
It has been hovering around this mark for weeks, still dangerously close to its 30% critical level.
Water experts said consumers must brace for any eventuality and that water must be conserved.
Malaysian Water Association (MWA) president Syed Mohamad Adnan Alhabshi said a full dam would act as a buffer during dry weather periods.
He said in January this year, the Sungai Selangor dam was at 70%, which was not enough to stave off water rationing.
“(If) the dam was at 100% in January, then the rest of the year would be quite stable,” he said.
Syed Mohamad said it was hard to predict what capacity the dams would have by the end of the year.
Association of Water and Energy Research (Awer) president S. Piarapakaran said longer periods of rainfall was needed to prepare dams for dry seasons, adding that it was important that rain must fall in the catchment areas.
He said states with low dam levels would be hard hit during droughts.
Meteorological Department spokesman Dr Hisham Mohd Anip said rainfall was expected during the inter-monsoon period in October throughout the country.
However, he said it was hard to say if rain would fall in the catchment areas due to the “unpredictability of weather”.
He said there was no sign of the El Nino phenomenon in Malaysia so far, adding that if it were to arrive by the year end, it would be “very weak” and will not have a large effect on the weather pattern.
A heat wave in the first quarter of the year and falling dam levels saw water rationing imposed in many parts of the peninsula.
Selangor and the Klang Valley were the hardest hit, with more than 6.7 million people affected by rationing.