Water from Air Itam dam can only lasts 32 days due to festive demand – PBAPP CEO

Water from Air Itam dam can only lasts 32 days due to festive demand – PBAPP CEO

PETALING JAYA: The increase demand during the Hari Raya festive period has resulted in water supply from the Air Itam dam prediction to last up to 32 days, according to the Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP).

Its CEO K.Patmanathan told the New Straits Times despite the recent downpour, water supply at the dam had reduced significantly.

The situation however was normal, he said, given that PBAPP has increased the water drawdown to meet the demands of the festive period during Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

“We increased the raw water drawdown from 9.24 million litres per day (MLD) to an average of 25.82 MLD yesterday.

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“At the same time, we also increased the production at the Air Itam water treatment plant for the coming days from April 12 to 14.

“Thereafter, it will be back to our Air Itam Water Dam Action Plan 2024 (AIDAP 2024),“ he was quoted as saying to the English daily, today.

On Tuesday, PBAPP had announced the deployment of 13 water tankers as a stand-by measure to avoid or minimise supply disruptions in Penang during the hot and dry festive season.

These tankers, which include three jumbo tankers (maximum capacity of 40,000 litres each), were on stand-by to serve some neighbourhoods in Seberang Prai Selatan (SPS) as well as a few high-ground and end-of line (EoL) neighbourhoods in Relau and Bukit Belah, in the southwest district.

ALSO READ: PBAPP warns residents to reduce water usage by 10% due to “unsafe” levels in dams

From April 14 onwards, Pathmanathan said the state water authority would reduce the drawdown to the range of 9 MLD of raw water from the dam to increase the dam water level.

On February 2, PBAPP had reportedly stated that it was finalising the AIDAP 2024 proposal to the state government that might potentially increase the effective capacity of the Air Itam dam from 34.6 per cent to 50 per cent by the end of April.

The development comes following the dwindling of the Air Itam dam water level.

Additionally, Pathmanathan said the recent downpours had helped increase water levels for the dam.

“It recorded 14mm rainfall at the Air Itam catchment area yesterday.

“The downpour has also helped to increase the raw water for more treatment at the Air Itam water treatment plan,“ he was quoted as saying.

Pathmanathan added the overall water supply status in Penang is under control with a prediction of significantly higher rainfall in the coming three to four months.

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