Deputy Prime Minister Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi chaired the 12th National Water Resources Council (MSAN) meeting at Parliament building here today, said the meeting also touched on the state governments expediting the acquisition of land for projects under the Rural Water Supply Programme. Bernama Photo

KUALA LUMPUR: The National Water Resources Council (MSAN) has identified five key areas to enhance the management and development of the country’s water resources, said Deputy Prime Minister Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Zahid, who chaired the 12th MSAN meeting at Parliament building here today, said the meeting also touched on the state governments expediting the acquisition of land for projects under the Rural Water Supply Programme.

He said the programme aims to locate more water resources in collaboration with state water authorities.

“(The meeting) also talked about intensifying awareness programmes and relaxing conditions for the connection of meters through the state water authorities,” he said in a statement today.

The meeting was also attended by Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam and Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Othman Aziz.

The menteris besar and chief ministers or their representatives also attended the meeting.

Zahid said state governments must protect areas with natural or man-made water catchments from activities that could threaten the water resources.

He said these included uncontrolled development and agriculture activities.

“In addition to the state government’s effort to manage water, the federal government will offer alternative water resources, which are currently being explored in each state.

“Another way is to encourage state water dam operators to follow the Malaysia Dam Safety Management Guidelines (MyDAMS) to ensure a systematic and smoother safety procedure that is in line with international standards.

“The government will also research methods to store unprocessed water from rivers. This includes the development of the Off-River Storage (ORS) system.”

He said underground water, rainwater reservoirs, underground dams and lakes could be turned into water resources.

Zahid who also is home minister, said the government is currently keeping records of all lakes in the country Malaysia for the purpose of turning them into water resources in the future.

“The government will intensify the campaign to save water and introduce water tariff structures to encourage prudent use of water,” he added.

He also urged the people to cooperate with the government to ensure water consumption is reduced and becomes more efficient.

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