Wednesday, July 17

Water supply enough for northern region, consumers assured

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Franklin (standing front, seventh left – wearing spectacles) with Laku staff, their families and visitors coming for Laku Open Day 2019 at Lambir Water Treatment Plant.

MIRI: The supply of clean water for the northern region of Sarawak is still sufficient, despite the current dry spell.

According to Laku Management Sdn Bhd (Laku) chief executive officer Franklin Ujar, his team is closely monitoring the level of water reserves here.

“At this moment, we have not reached the (alarming) level, even though you hear that we don’t have any rain. We know that because we are monitoring the level of (water) reserves that we have.

“At the same time, we also carry out our standard operating practices, where we continue to monitor the quality of water. Our water quality always complies with the national drinking water quality standard,” he told The Borneo Post when met during Laku Open Day 2019 at Lambir Water Treatment Plant in KM15 of Jalan Miri-Bintulu here yesterday.

The event was held in conjunction with World Water Day.

Adding on, Franklin said Laku had identified and classified the severity of the drought with the ‘alert’, ‘warning’ and ‘critical’ levels, based on the level of water supply reserves as well as Laku’s capacity to deliver water.

He assured all that at the moment, the water reserve level is ‘far from alarming’.

“At the average rainfall that we have right now, we should not be alarmed. In the worst-case scenario, should we enter any of these warning levels, there would be a few things that we need to do within our responsibility and jurisdiction.

“Now we have the Bakong River (as water resource) – previously we only had Liku River. So Bakong River should be able to support us in terms of raw water sources.

“Even if the situation continued to be without rain, we in Miri should not be alarmed, because we know that we have enough water catering for everyone at this stage,” he said.

Franklin added that soon, the Baram River would become another raw water source for Laku, in view of an ongoing project undertaken by Rural Water Supply Department (JBALB) to transfer water via inter-basin process – from Baram River to Bakong River, and then to Liku River.

“That will support us for many more years to come. Our target is sustainable clean water supply by 2030.

“Having said that, just because we have enough water does not mean that we can waste water.

“My message to the public is do not waste water even though we have enough water, because water is a scarcity – water cannot be replenished without proper management,” he pointed out.

Franklin added that the Sarawak government had been very vigilant in alerting all water authorities in Sarawak to be prepared for worst-case scenario, and should the current drought be prolonged, Laku would activate its contingency plan.

“Laku is already prepared in terms of contingency plan, including what to expect and what to do during a prolonged drought,” he added.

On Laku Open Day 2019, Franklin said it was aimed at educating the public about the importance of conserving water and also showing the steps involved in processing water before distributing it to households.

“This year’s theme is ‘Leaving No One Behind’. What it means to all of us is that the whole world is under the threat of climate change. Therefore, we really need to ensure that all of us know the issue; not only the people who work in the water industry, but also the general public – they should know the importance and value of water.”

According to Franklin, Laku wants to reach out to every level of community through the open day programme, and educate them on the value of water, as well as remind them to conserve and preserve this precious commodity.