Johor Pakatan rep suggests utility firm explore groundwater resource

Ben Tan
Khairuddin said groundwater can be alternative source of raw water in the state. — Picture courtesy of Johor Parti Amanah Negara

ISKANDAR PUTERI, Aug 15 — A state assemblyman suggested for the state government to look into the feasibility of supplying water from groundwater sources in the state.

Senggarang assemblyman Khairuddin A. Rahim said groundwater can be alternative source of raw water in the state.

“At present, the state’s water is only sourced from surface water from mainly rivers and lakes that were usually prone to pollution and involved a high cost to treat.

“Water sourced from groundwater is currently under research and is not widely explored in Johor yet,” he said on the sidelines of the state assembly in Kota Iskandar here.

In Malaysia, groundwater is drawn from underground sources while surface water, on which the country largely depends, is derived from lakes and rivers.

Khairuddin, who is also known for advocating environmental issues in Johor, added that groundwater research and sourcing can be a mainstay of the proposed second water utility company that was announced by Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Osman Sapian in the state assembly here on Monday.

He said the creation of a second water utility company specialising in sourcing groundwater would be highly lauded.

“Johor is poised to grow in the next decade and we need to prepare alternatives to important resources such as water for the people of the state.

“What is needed is for the state government to hire specialists and obtain information on underground water sources, identify the amount of water needed to be provided to consumers, its operational costs and maintenance costs and the effects of the groundwater intake,” said Khairuddin.

He added that the state government can also appoint consultants from countries that have successfully implemented groundwater sourcing such as in Japan.

Previously, Khairuddin said Johor under the Barisan Nasional (BN) administration had allocated funds to start this proposed method.

“The state government should continue the effort’s made by the previous administration.

“We also propose that the state government can start the pilot project in Kota Tinggi and Mersing as a start,” he said.

Groundwater is relatively a clean water source as it is found beneath the surface and largely protected from contamination.

According to the World Bank, Malaysia has about 19,396 cubic metres of renewable underground resources per capita, consisting of internal rivers and groundwater.

Groundwater sourcing is not a new method in Malaysia as Kelantan draws 70 per cent of its water from ground sources.