There is still water for everyone
In conjunction with World Environment Day, we take a look at what Air Selangor has in the pipeline to achieve water resilience in the face of climate change challenges.
With El Nino unleashing its wrath, causing severe drought that is predicted to last for the next few years, many are left wondering if there is enough water to go around. The answer is a rippling yes!
By 2030, the projected water demand in Air Selangor’s distribution areas in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya is expected to reach 6,910 million litres per day (MLD) while its production capacity will achieve 1.2x more, that is 8,400 MLD, so you can be assured that there is still water for everyone.
The largest water services provider in Malaysia has been proactively taking steps to ensure a resilient supply of clean water for over 9 million consumers, including forming a climate change taskforce to drive initiatives towards climate change adaptation, particularly for drought and flood events.
A strategic framework is in place to ensure there are water supply alternatives, operational readiness and water demand modifications, as well as environmental and water quality maintenance.
Air Selangor has also conducted dam profiling to prepare for the effects of climate change such as flood risk assessments to develop flood management strategies, hydrological analysis for inflows, outflows and water storage capacity, and structural integrity caused by changes in temperature.
The water services provider is also working closely with the Selangor government’s Raw Water Guarantee Scheme (SJAM) to provide and execute support in ensuring that a continuous supply of raw water will be channelled to water treatment plants in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Putrajaya in the event of raw water quality issues within the river.
Building water supply resilience through infrastructure
Air Selangor’s efforts in building water supply resilience remain steadfast to cater to the ever-growing water demand due to urbanisation and population growth while navigating challenges that cause raw water shortages like water pollution and climate change.
Last year, Air Selangor issued its third and fourth tranches of Sukuk Murabahah with net proceeds totalling RM1.3bil, of which RM1bil was issued under the Sustainable and Responsible Investment Sukuk Kelestarian Air Selangor (Sukuk Kelestarian). In April this year, another RM700mil was issued under its fifth tranche consisting fully of Sukuk Kelestarian.
As of September 2022, RM937.7mil of Sukuk Kelestarian has been allocated for eligible capital and operating expenditure:
a) Sustainable water management: RM308.3mil was allocated to maintain and improve production and distribution efficiency to minimise service disruptions, reduce water losses, lessen impact on the environment and improve water quality.
b) Sustainable water supply: RM629.4mil was utilised for projects, including the development of the new Rasau Water Supply Scheme Stage 1, and the maintenance of existing water treatment and distribution infrastructure.
Through the Rasau Water Supply Scheme (image above), the overall water reserve margin will increase, thereby reducing dependence on the Sungai Selangor river basin that is currently the primary raw water source for the Klang and Petaling regions.
This is to help mitigate the risk of water supply disruption to consumers, and 9 potential water sources have been identified in the form of off-river storage (ORS) facilities, the largest being about 185 hectares.
The completion of the Rasau Water Supply Scheme by 2030 is expected to produce clean water supply of up to 1,400 MLD for consumers in the Klang, Petaling and Kuala Langat regions.
Efforts are also made to reduce the loss and wastage of clean water (non-revenue water) while in the water distribution system, with a 25% reduction target by 2025. This includes active leak detection and repair.
On top of that, Air Selangor has a reclaimed water venture with Indah Water Konsortium (IWK), producing up to 4 MLD of non-potable reclaimed water for industrial use at its water reclamation plant in Setia Alam.
Air Selangor has updated its mobile app with the i-ERP system to offer consumers real time updates, and the availability of support services such as Pusat Khidmat Setempat, public water taps and commercial filling stations in the event of a scheduled or unscheduled water supply disruption.
Adapting to climate change: A concerted effort is a must
Water conservation is also necessary to manage domestic water demand; domestic water usage post-pandemic was at 35.6% higher in 2022 than the government’s target of 160 litres per capita per day set in the Malaysia Environmental Sustainability Roadmap 2030.
A Water Conservation Roadmap 2022-2025 has been established by Air Selangor to govern all domestic water conservation programmes under its purview and at the same time ramp up its engagement programmes to address the issue.
Strategic partnerships with various government agencies, regulators, local authorities and non-governmental organisations are aimed at educating the public on the importance of efficient water usage in achieving water supply sustainability.
One of them is the Water Conservation Master Class series published on Air Selangor’s social media space to boost public knowledge on the topic, anchored by the Hydro Squad featuring a team of celebrities and influencers to help drive the key messages across.
Partnering with more schools in educating and inspiring youths on the importance of water conservation are in the works, following the success of the Air Selangor x Boboiboy Air video series, and a collaboration with the Universiti Malaya (UM) Water Warriors to launch #KitaJagaAir Challenge 2022.
A pilot project was conducted in 2022 in partnership with the Subang Jaya state assemblyman to reduce domestic water consumption using water efficiency tools while increasing consumer awareness of the availability of low-cost water savings solutions.
A total of 100 households comprising apartments, terraces and bungalows volunteered to participate in the project and have thus achieved sustained reductions in overall water use.
Riverbanks of Sungai Kuang, Sungai Labu Intake, Sungai Pusu, and Sungai Taman Melawati have been given a new lease of life as Air Selangor employees together with Friends of Rivers and surrounding communities have cleaned and beautified them, in support of the National River Trail project.
Air Selangor’s continuous commitment to ensure clean water security and resilience remains at the forefront, with the hope that everyone including consumers will do their part to conserve the rivers and use clean water mindfully.
Published on The Star dated 30 Jun 2023: The Star