The water supply is now again in jeopardy


On October 1, just days before the Prime Minister announced the lifting of the travel ban, residents of Klang Valley were given another piece of news: “Early notice of scheduled water supply disruption following upgrading and maintenance works for critical assets in Sungai Selangor phase 1 water treatment plant.”
The water disruption will begin at 9:00 a.m. on October 13 and end at 9:00 p.m. on October 16. Water and diamonds are both important commodities, yet they are not the same. The diamond-water paradox refers to the fact that diamonds fetch a greater market price even though water is more beneficial in terms of life than diamonds.
As a two-year-old resident of Klang Valley, I have encountered more water cuts here than I have in my whole life in terms of incident counts. As we prepare for a potential water shortage, I’d want to bring the reader’s attention to “Day Zero,” a colloquial term for the day when the water levels in the city’s major dams drop below critical levels.
From mid-2017 to mid-2018, Cape Town, South Africa, was on its way to becoming the first large city in the world to run out of water. In March 2018, the city imposed a series of water restrictions to reduce water waste, and it was successful in cutting its daily water use by more than half. According to the National Water Services Commission (SPAN), per capita, water usage in Peninsular Malaysia and Labuan increased to 230 liters per capita per day in 2019, up from 226 liters in 2018 and 222 liters in 2017, while our national reserve margin is at its lowest level since 2008.
By 2025, the government wants to cut water use per capita to 180 liters per day. Malaysians currently consume 219 liters of water per day, contrary to the recommended 160 liters per day. By 2025, this will have decreased by 18.3%, with a further 9% reduction needed to meet the acceptable consumption rate.


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