Over 129 days, the effective capacity of this dam dropped by 41.4%, from 82.5% on 1.1.2023 to 41.1% on 9.5.2023. As such, the remaining effective capacity of 41.1% may potentially last another 120 days.
Press statement by Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow:
As the Chief Minister of Penang, I am directing Perbadanan Bekalan Air Pulau Pinang Sdn Bhd (PBAPP) to re-strategize their action plans to ensure that the depleting reserves of the Air Itam Dam last until the next rainy season in September 2023.
I believe that PBAPP can do it, due to the following 4 key reasons:
Hopefully, there will be some rainfall in the Air ItamDam water catchment area to help sustain the dam’s reserves until September.
This “adjustment” was done through the strategic pumping of more treated water from the Sungai Dua Water Treatment Plant to reach consumers living in areas surrounding Air Itam. “Reducing the supply coverage area” allows PBAPP tosignificantly minimise daily drawdowns from the Air Itam Dam.
PBAPP has the option to further “tighten up” its dry weather control engineering measures. However, the imposition of more stringent controls may affect water supply services.
We do not wish to cause inconveniences for the people and businesses unnecessarily. Hence, PBAPP will only implement more stringent control measures in Penang when it is absolutely necessary; and we will inform the public ahead of time accordingly.
Dam status: “actual effective capacity” vs “days”
Earlier this month, the mass media reported that the raw water reserve of the Air Itam Dam could possibly last only until the end of June 2023. However, the news reports did not state 2 important qualifications:
As such, PBAPP would normally focus on “actual effective capacity percentage” and not “potential number of days left” when discussing dam levels.
Cooperation of Air Itam water consumers
It is possible for PBAPP to manage the reserves of the Air Itam Dam to last until the next rainy season while sustaining acceptable water supply services in Air Itam.
Success largely depends on two variable factors: rainfall in the dam water catchment area and daily water consumption in Air Itam.
To significantly increase our likelihood of success, I am seeking the cooperation of the people of Air Itam to kindly use less water. Please lower your water consumption now because the raw water reserve of the Air Itam Dam is low.
Please stop using a hose to water your garden or plants. Avoid using a hose to wash your car or motorcycle. Do not leave your tap running. For more water saving tips, please visit www.pba.com.my.
Please play an active role in helping us to stretch the raw water reserve of the Air Itam Dam to last for another 120 days. Doing so will directly benefit you, your neighbours and community.