The state government of Perak rejected the request of the state government of Pulau Pinang to transfer part of the water source from Perak River to Pulau Pinang.
Menteri Besar of Perak, Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad said that water from Perak River is only sufficient for use within the state and cannot be supplied to other states.
“We empathise with the problems they faced, however we have solid reason for not being able to fulfil their request based on reports carried out by four vital agencies, namely Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB), the Perak Water Board (LAP), Department of Irrigation and Drainage (JPS) and Perak State Economic Planning Unit (UPEN).
“Perak River not only serves as the source of treated water supply for Perakeans, but is also used widely to generate hydroelectric power in addition to agriculture, fisheries and developing industries in Perak.
“According to statement from LAP, a total of 50% out of the treated water supply for Perakeans is sourced from Perak River and its streams via the water treatment plant (LRA) of LAP located along the river,” he said when answering the question of Dr Abdul Aziz Bari (DAP- Tebing Tinggi) during the 14th Perak state assembly sitting today.
According to Saarani, LAP is planning on upgrading the capacity of raw water processing at several of its LRA. It also planned to develop a new LRA at Kampung Gajah to supply water to the developing area of Seberang Perak along the West Coast Expressway (WCE) and for use of the Bagan Datuk District that needs water from the Perak River.
“The JPS recommends to prioritise Kerian District to solve the issue of a lack of water supply for the purpose of paddy field irrigation.
“As the residents in Perak is expected to increase to 3 million people in 2050, it is necessary to ensure the water supply for Perakeans is always sufficient for domestic and commercial needs at all times.”
He added that the rapid industrial development, especially in the area of North Perak which attracts investors to Perak, affects the water supply.
“Based on data obtained from Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) Perak, a total of 20 rubber hand glove factories were approved from 2017 till 2020 where 16 factories have already begun operations while the remaining is in the construction plan stage.
“A total of nine hand glove factories located at North Perak need high water usage to enable optimum capacity of operation. Thus, the state water supply sufficiency needs to take into consideration the expected industrial development, especially rubber-based factories.”