M’sia can utilise groundwater in sustainable manner — Expert


KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia can utilise groundwater in a sustainable manner if the right sustainable policy, coupled with better management groundwater systems are implemented, an expert says.The potential for groundwater development and its utilisation for public consumption in the future was also huge, said Hydrogeology Research Centre director Dr Saim Suratman of the National Hydraulic Research Institute of Malaysia (NAHRIM).

He said that currently, groundwater made up only two per cent of total public water usage while the rest was from surface water.

“At the moment, we are dependent on only one source but I think, the potential is always there for us to utilise some of these groundwaters,” he told reporters after the Sime Darby Luncheon Dialogue here yesterday.

“Many states actually have the potential for groundwater development and Kelantan is one of the states that probably has the most viable groundwater development because the aquifer is very rich and the recharge is very high, so you can tap groundwater sustainably,” Saim said.

He said Selangor was one of the states that would need additional sources of water due to rising industrial and population demand.

In Southeast Asia, he said, Thailand was a major user of groundwater but other countries like Vietnam were also catching up in terms of groundwater utilisation.

He hoped Malaysia would adopt groundwater as one of the sources of public water supply at a ratio of between 10 to 20 per cent by 2020. — Bernama