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Labuan to ration water in anticipation of El Nino

Met Dept

LABUAN: The Labuan Water Department has prepared a contingency plan, to include water rationing, in anticipation of water shortage due to the dry spell brought about by El Nino.

Its acting director Law Jia Haur said the water rationing exercise would depend on the urgency.

“Our water dams are still intact at stable level,” he told Bernama here today.

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 sources out  an additional 38 million litres of water daily for domestic use and the booming oil and gas industries.

Law said the water from Padas River is directly channelled to three water dams in Kerupang Dam, Bukit Kuda Dam and Sg Pagar before distribution to the population of more than 100,000.

“Currently we have more than 17,400 registered account holders and consumption has increased slightly due to increased population,” he said.

He reminded the public to manage their daily water consumption in view of the dry season and to report water leakages to the department.

He also disclosed that the island was currently depending on two water dams as the Kerupang Dam is undergoing dredging works to deepen the dams, which would only be completed at the end of the year.

On El Nino, he said, “it is a global phenomenon that we cannot avoid but we can make a difference by using water wisely, such as harvesting and using rain water instead of treated water for our plants”.

Malaysia’s rainfall intensity is expected to reduce by 20 to 60 percent starting this month, following El Nino that is sweeping the country.
Meteorological Department director-general Che Gayah Ismail in a statement last week said the current El Nino level was categorised as ‘strong’, with the country’s temperature expecting to rise between 0.5 to two degrees Celsius.

She said the strong impact of El Nino would continue until April with the northern states in the peninsula starting to feel its effects.

El Nino’s strong impact will be felt by all the states in the peninsula, Sabah as well as in the Miri and Limbang divisions in Sarawak by the end of this month.- BERNAMA


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