Johor to not depend on Singapore for treated water by 2022: Malaysian minister

·Editorial Team
PUB stops Johor water treatment operations due to ammonia pollution; supply to Singapore households not affected
Water pipes between Singapore and Malaysia. (FILE PHOTO: Reuters/Edgar Su)

SINGAPORE — Malaysia’s Minister for Water, Soil and Natural Resource, Dr Xavier Jayakumar, says he expects Johor to no longer depend on treated water supplies from Singapore by 2022.

According to a report on Monday (19 August) by Malaysian news agency Bernama, Xavier said the Malaysian government should ensure that Johor has sufficient treated water in order to reduce reliance on Singapore.

It is thus constructing new water treatment plants to increase the Malaysian state’s treated water supply to 260 million litres a day in a few years’ time.

“We need to make sure that Johor has its own well-maintained water supply. Therefore, we will provide new water plants in Johor by 2022," he told reporters after receiving a call from Johor Chief Minister Dr Shahruddin Jamal.

“The capacity must reach 260 million litres a day. We already have an understanding that by the year 2022, we will have this capacity.”

When asked whether the construction of new water treatment plants in Johor would have an effect on the Water Agreement talks between Malaysia and Singapore, Xavier said it has no effect, and the agreement is still in effect.

Under the current 1962 Water Agreement, which ends in 2061, Malaysia supplies Singapore 250 million gallons of raw water daily at a rate of RM0.03 (S$0.01) per 1,000 gallons.

It then buys back the treated water from the Republic at RM0.50 per 1,000 gallons.

Besides the water issue, Xavier said that he has also reached an agreement with the Johor state government on measures to address the river pollution in the state, through more efficient sewage management.

Both parties also agreed on sustainable forest management, as well as establishing a trust account for trapped wildlife rescue operations.

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