The best news I got recently was the plan to audit the water industry nationwide in Malaysia. Based on the data collected from the audit, the plan is to manage the water resource so that we are not always suffering from water cuts.
The operative word here is “manage”. Malaysia is one of the wettest countries in the world with an average annual rainfall of about 100 inches in Peninsular Malaysia and about 200 inches in East Malaysia (Meteorology Department figures). In addition, according to Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Dr Xavier Jayakumar, Malaysia might have up to five trillion cubic metres of underground water.
We are water-rich, yet our taps often run dry. That can only mean that the resource is badly managed. The nationwide audit of the water industry is aimed at managing water efficiently so that we don’t run out of water in the future. In the face of climate changes, that is a daunting task, but if the ministry succeeds, Malaysia will be a model for other water-rich nations to follow.
We should manage our water so well that we can drink it off the taps! Like in Switzerland which is recognized as a country with the best quality tap water in the world. It has strict water treatment standards and superior management of its water resource. It has less rainfall than Malaysia with an average annual rainfall of about 60 inches but it has tapped into its natural springs and groundwater. The latter two water sources provide about 80% of that nation’s drinking water.
If Switzerland can do it, I think, we can, too! Hopefully, after the nationwide audit of Malaysia’s water resource, tap water will be clean, safe, fresh and drinkable! There will be no need for home water filters and such. Instead, we can serve healthy and safe drinking water to guests and tout our water as the best in the world!
There should be well-maintained public water fountains in all urban areas so that water is free and accessible to any Malaysian. Water should also be served free at all eateries. With such abundant water, we shouldn’t be paying for water! Our water bills may go up a bit but that is a small price to pay for well-managed water delivered clean and safe to our homes!
So, syabas to the Water, Land and Natural Resources Ministry for its ambitious but achievable water plan. I’ll be looking forward to the beneficial results we hope to enjoy once the water industry in Malaysia is upgraded and functioning at optimum efficiency!