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    Jul 18, 2016

    Johor taps on S'pore for extra 6m gallons of water a day

    SINGAPORE has started supplying an additional six million gallons of water per day to Malaysia.

    This comes after Johor's water regulatory body Badan Kawalselia Air Johor (Bakaj) had made an "urgent request" on Saturday to national water agency PUB - asking for an additional supply of treated water.

    "Bakaj requires this water to stabilise their own supply system in Johor Baru after a shutdown on Wednesday due to pollution in the Johor River," said PUB in a statement yesterday.

    The agency added that it started supplying the additional amount yesterday.

    The arrangement will carry on until tomorrow.

    The extra amount of treated water is being supplied by the PUB-operated Johor River Waterworks.

    The latest arrangement, however, will not affect Singapore's own water supply as the agency is able to increase its own local production at short notice, said PUB.

    This means getting more water from desalination plants here as well as reservoirs to ensure that the country's needs are met.

    Last week, Malaysian daily The Star reported that effluents discharged from a palm-oil mill had been identified as the main source of high ammonia content in the Johor River.

    The pollution caused operations of three water-treatment plants in Johor to stop, affecting some 600,000 users in the southern parts of the state, said the paper.

    PUB is entitled to draw 250 million gallons of raw water daily from the Johor River under the 1962 Water Agreement with Malaysia, which expires in 2061.

    In exchange, Singapore is obliged to sell five million gallons of treated water to Johor each day.

    However, PUB has been regularly providing Johor with up to 16 million gallons on a daily basis.

    The new addition of six million gallons each day comes on top of this.

    This is not the first time that Johor has asked Singapore to supply more.

    There were also instances previously where Singapore had met that request because of "urgent operational needs", said PUB.

    Last month, Bakaj had also requested that PUB provide an additional six million gallons per day for a month, following the dry weather which had severely affected water levels in Johor's Sungai Layang dam.