Where’s my water? — Tay Tian Yan
JULY 18 — I know some countries are suffering from severe drought and the heat wave in the United States has so far claimed 70 lives while nine have perished in southern Taiwan.
If I were in the US or Taiwan now, I may have to be contented with a short supply of clean water, if any at all.
Well, if there isn’t a drop of water from the sky, I guess we have to learn to live with the hardship.
In recent weeks, the water pressure in many areas of Selangor has become so low that sometimes the water droplets seem to struggle their way out of the water pipe.
Seeing Syabas staff busily distributing bottled water in affected neighbourhoods, I do not know whether I should feel grateful or regretful.
Syabas has told the public that the water levels at filtration plants have dropped to only two per cent, against the safe level of 20 per cent. In other words, the water is drying up some time soon.
The company has also proposed water rationing in the Klang Valley, and some seven million residents are expected to be affected.
It is a wonder that living in humid Selangor we can still experience the kind of waterless days Americans and Taiwanese have to put up with right at this moment.
But wait a minute. There’s more to this situation.
If you do not suffer a lapse of memory, you should remember that rain has been bountiful in the state of Selangor over the past two weeks, even heavy downpours on a few occasions.
Barely yesterday a state assemblyman witnessed the full capacity of our reservoirs after inspecting them at various locations.
But that’s weird! Syabas says the reservoirs are dying up but the state government has proved otherwise.
If there is plenty of water inside the reservoirs but hardly anything coming out from the filtration plants, then something must have gone wrong with the treatment of water.
This has nothing to do with the rain, just something between Syabas and the state government.
The state government accuses Syabas of gross inefficiency that has resulted in poor water output, while Syabas points the finger at the state government for not approving the second Langat plant.
As if that were not enough, the state government has disallowed Syabas from hiking water tariffs while Syabas has refused to let the state government intervene in water supply matters.
As a matter of fact, Syabas, which secured the water supply concession from the previous administration, has been on bad terms with the current Pakatan state government since March 2008.
Their tussles have involved the highly intricate politics-business relationship and massive commercial interests.
There will not be a comprehensive solution until the day both sides agree to sit down and resolve the problems that stand in their way, not merely pinning hope on the falling rain. — MySinchew.com
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.