KUALA KANGSAR, March 15 — The Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Shah said the current global water crisis was no fiction but a phenomenon.
He said it had been forecasted that competition and struggle for water resources might be the cause of wars to come.
“The rakyat must realise insufficient water supply will trigger a crisis as water is a basic necessity,” he said, warning that lack of water is a phenomenon sweeping the world now.
Speaking at the launch of the RM46.2 million Kampung Senawar water treatment plant here yesterday, Sultan Nazrin Shah noted that one-fifth of the world population did not have access to clean water while half the world’s population was reported to be staying in areas where access to water was a problem.
“We too faced a similar crisis where shortage in supply led to water rationing,” he said.
Sultan Nazrin Shah said proactive action must be taken to minimise the risk.
Among them was to preserve and conserve water sources and water catchment areas.
“Water sources must be managed integratedly and to use new technology to improve the present water system,” he said.
“There should also be alternative water sources such as underground water, recycled water and rainwater harvesting.”
He said there should also be education programmes to ensure consumers were aware and jointly took responsibility to preserve water sources.
Sultan Nazrin Shah said the people must preserve, conserve and use water prudently.
He said the people, especially those born in the tropics, thought water was something which could be easily obtained.
“They must be made to realise it is their responsibility to appreciate not to pollute water sources,” he said.
Sultan Nazrin Shah said education programmes on the value and importance of water including the joint responsibility to preserve and conserve water sources must be inculcated in the people.
“Start by appreciating and respecting water. Stop throwing waste and rubbish into drains and rivers. It may seem a small step but it has high impact,” he said.
Earlier, Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Zambry Abd Kadir said the Perak Water Board currently had 758,000 consumers.
This was an increase of 2.26 per cent compared to 2015, he said, adding that people in the state used 1,320 million litres of water daily.
In his speech read by public utilities, infrastructure, energy and water committee chairman Datuk Zainol Fadzi Paharuddin, Zambry said the board spent RM573 million to improve water infrastructure in the state.
On the water treatment plant, he said construction began in August 2014 and was completed in April last year.
He said the Kampung Senawar plant would complement the Kota Lama Kiri and Padang Rengas water treatment plants.Sultan Nazrin Shah and Raja Permaisuri Perak Tuanku Zara Salim visit the water treatment plant at Kampung Senawar in Kuala Kangsar.