Water conservation initiative in Penang

The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) lauds the Penang Water Supply Corporation Sdn Bhd’s (PBAPP) Aquasave programme to promote water conservation in the state. This water conservation effort has been long due.

PBAPP has stated that Penangites are high water users, consuming 286 litres of water per person daily, compared with the national recommendation of 220 litres and United Nations’ recommendation of 165 litres.  This is very high indeed.

We concur with the water saving and conservation measures proposed by Prof Chan Ngai Weng, President of Water Watch Penang. Besides this, water demand management should be adopted in every aspect of the planning, management and maintenance by PBAPP.

The PBAPP Aquasave programme includes rewarding effective water savers with greenery awards. To complement this, heavy penalty should be imposed for water-wasting behaviour.  Water-pricing strategies via tariff increase should be employed for major users as an incentive for them to reduce water consumption. Tariff for domestic users who use more than what is required for basic needs should also be increased.

The PBAPP and relevant parties should also promote the use of grey water and other non-potable water for non-consumption purposes. Major users such as factories, institutions, agriculture sector should embark on water recycling to reduce water consumption. Provisions should be made for non-domestic customers who have opted to reduce water consumption through free or cheap water audits in their premises.

State-wide retrofitting programme should also be executed for installation of water-saving devices and low consumption fittings in domestic, public and commercial premises.   All this conservation measures must go hand in hand with protection of our water sheds, plant more trees, harvesting and using of rain water.

On the whole, the way Penangites and non-domestic users are currently using water is not sustainable. We need to aggressively change our water consumption behaviour to protect our precious water resources for the future.

Press Statement, 13 August 2010