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Remodelling of Water Crisis Situation For Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya



Association of Water and Energy Research Malaysia (AWER) has conducted a linear modeling study with 1% treated water reserve margin for Selangor (including Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya). This study has included the additional distributable capacity due to implementation of Mitigation Project Phase 1 and Phase 2 by Federal Government. Phase 1 of the mitigation project is expected to increase distributable capacity by 125 Million Litres per Day (MLD) at the cost of RM 275 Million between year 2012 and 2013. Phase 2 of the project is expected to increase distributable capacity by 371 MLD at the cost of RM 331 Million between year 2013 and 2015.

Distributable Capacity is the amount of treated water that can be supplied to consumers. Reserve Margin is the extra distributable capacity after catering the current demand. Reserve margin will allow the treatment plant to cater any sudden demand increase or unforeseen water shortage. In AWER’s modelling, we used 1% reserve margin as worst case scenario because the ideal reserve margin should be above 10%. The 1% reserve margin is to cater sudden pipe burst or supply disruption due to maintenance and repair works or any unforeseen circumstances.

Estimated Water Crisis Situation for Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya

Table 1 outlines the annual increases of treated water production. Based on AWER's modelling study, the annual average increase in treated water production is 2.09% from year 2007 to 2011. Due to increase in distributable capacity in phases, the worst case scenario (with 1% reserve margin) changes periodically from year 2012 to 2015 as shown in Table 2.

Finally, with all these variables, AWER is estimating that the water crisis may happen between year 2014 and 2020 (refer to Table 3). 2% of annual demand increase will cause water crisis in year 2020. However, an increase of annual demand between 3.5 % and 5.0% will cause water crisis in year 2016 and 2014 respectively. We urge Suruhanjaya Perkhidmatan Air Negara (SPAN) to speed up the implementation of mitigation projects to prevent water crisis in case water demand surges beyond 3.5 %.

Table 1: Increase in Production of Treated Water in Selangor (including Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya)


Total Production


Increase in Production


2011  4143 1.97
2010 4063 3.49
2009 3926 0.95
2008 3889 1.97
2007 3814 -

(MLD = Million Litres per day)
*Source: Malaysia Water Industry Guide & Suruhanjaya Perkhidmatan Air Negara (SPAN)
** derived by AWER


Table 2: Distributable Capacity and Worst Case Scenario


Distributable Capacity


Distributable Capacity in Worst Case Scenario

(with 1% Reserve Margin) (MLD)**

2012 4436   4391.64
2013 4645 4598.55
2014 4697 4650.03
2015 4947 4897.53
2016 4947 4897.53
2017 4947 4897.53
2018 4947 4897.53

*Source: Suruhanjaya Perkhidmatan Air Negara (SPAN)
** derived by AWER


Table 3: Results of Linear Demand Study by AWER

Estimated Annual Demand increase (%) Estimated Water Crisis Year
0.50 2045
1.00 2028
1.50 2023
2.00 2020
2.09 2020
2.50 2018
3.00 2017
3.50 2016
4.00 2014
4.50 2014
5.00 2014


Mitigation Project Phase 1 and Phase 2 Must Be Done Via Open Tender

Based on some news reports, it is understood that all water treatment plants in Selangor do not measure the amount of treated water produced via a meter. The treated water is only measured after the balancing reservoir. This practice is not in line with Non-Revenue Water (NRW) definition internationally and it may under record actual NRW value. There bound to be leakages between water treatment plants and balancing reservoirs in terms of overflows. This is also not fair to other states’ water operators that measures NRW according to its definition.

In addition to that, according to Malaysia Water Industry Guide, SYABAS did not provide separate statistics for NRW between Selangor and Kuala Lumpur. The separated statistic for NRW is important to ensure identification of critical zones that have high NRW. SYABAS must submit the detailed NRW statistics to SPAN within a month as NRW reduction plans are part of Mitigation Project Phase 2. If SYABAS could not provide the statistics, it is showing their incompetence in managing water supply system. Without detailed NRW statistics, NRW reduction plans will be a total waste of money which eventually will be paid through tariff or tax payers’ money.

As the Selangor Water Services Industry restructuring is still delayed, NO allocation should be given to SYABAS. WSIA (Water Services Industry Act 2006) model promotes transparency and all mitigation projects MUST be implemented via open tender process to optimise Capital Expenditure (Capex). This was one of the measures identified in WSIA model to reduce water services’ cost impact to water tariff. We urge SPAN to exercise its regulatory power to ensure all projects are tendered openly via Pengurusan Aset Air Berhad (PAAB).

SYABAS's Announcement Can Cause Panic

AWER also urges SPAN to investigate SYABAS's announcement that the water crisis in Klang Valley especially in Ampang and Cheras is expected to continue until Chinese New Year which is in a month period. This is an unlawful and irresponsible action because SYABAS needs to obtain approval from SPAN before such announcement is made. The announcement will also place public in a panic situation. Panic situation can spike water usage as consumers tend to store more water at home. This is also the second time SYABAS attempt to cause panic among consumers. If repair works are carried out, the water supply should fully resume within 1 week. There is NO NEED to scare the consumers! AWER urges the Deputy Prime Minister who is chairing the Cabinet Committee on the Selangor Water Crisis to take stern actions against SYABAS who put public well being at stake.


The construction of Langat 2 water treatment plant cannot be prevented due to treated water Supply-Demand situation; this is purely an engineering issue! Based on official statistics and studies carried out, Langat 2 project must be implemented and carried out transparently. Federal government must also published information on impact of cost of Langat 2 project to water tariff. Mitigation projects swallow a lot of allocations and eventually these costs are passed on to consumers via water tariff or tax money. This is unfair and not an economical way of solving a simple engineering problem in long term.

We urge Federal Government and Selangor State Government not to drag their feet and politicise the entire issue. Both Federal Government and Selangor state government are duty bound to protect public interest. Both parties must talk based on facts and stop twisting information. Using water for political gain is despicable. SPAN must also act independently without influence from Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water (KeTTHA) in implementing WSIA model that was approved by the parliament.

Piarapakaran S.
Association of Water and Energy Research Malaysia (AWER)

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