LABUAN: The Labuan Water Department is working round the clock as the people in the duty-free-island have been hard hit by the water shortage since July 8.
Its director Alvin Michael Lo said efforts were being made to ensure the 2009 water crisis would not recur.
“The past few weeks had been very tough for us, our technical staff together with the contractors (until today) have been working round the clock, to cater for the demand,” he told Bernama yesterday.
Most of the housing estates and almost all the 27 villages including the government hospital had been badly affected as water supply could not cope with the demand.
Alvin said the department is providing water supply through water tanks non-stop every day and a WhatsApp number of 013-8560755 is ready to receive messages and channel assistance.
“We issued public notices on our Facebook and other platforms to reach the consumers on the island, and we hope the public can appreciate the situation which is beyond our control…as long as consumers understand, it will minimise the public anger,” he said.
The notice on July 7 stated the water level at the Sg Pagar water catchment is declining to a low level, and unable to channel supply, thus affecting the supply of clean and raw water to thousands of consumers around the University Malaysia Sabah Labuan International Campus (UMSKAL), Kg Sg Lada, Kg Sg Miri and Taman Mahkota Impian.
“Based on rainfall data in the last three months, our Sg Pagar water catchment reported a rain deficit, the water level is declining…this is almost similar to what had happened in 2009 whereby the catchment was drying for a period of eight months,” Alvin said.
Besides the declining water level, Labuan was also having issues of a series of burst main pipelines in certain parts on the island and the recent one was in Kg Sg Keling, and this had affected consumers around the several housing estates, Kg Sg Keling and Rancha-Rancha industrial areas.
Alvin disclosed a team from Putrajaya is now in Labuan to assist in resolving the water woes affecting the people and the industrial areas.
The duty-free-island receives its water supply from Padas River in Beaufort through a 25.7-kilometre undersea pipeline.
The phase two undersea pipeline project costing RM387 million supplies an additional 38 million litres of water daily for domestic use and the oil and gas industries.
The water from Padas River is directly channelled to three water catchments in Kerupang, Bukit Kuda and Sg Pagar before distribution to the population.