KUALA LUMPUR, May 12 — Kelantan Deputy Mentri Besar Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah has reportedly said that the state has water in excess, but is unable to meet demands as it has no facilities to store it.
After the state government held by Islamist party PAS was criticised over a RM7 billion water reservoir project, Mohd Amar said the project is needed as the state needs to store and distribute the water from underground source or rainwater.
“In Kelantan, our water exceeds our need. We have it under the ground, in our rivers, rainwater, they are all in excess, but we can’t store it, we don’t have an appropriate place.
“We have a lot of underground water, more than we need. But we don’t have enough [treatment] plants,” Mohd Amar was quoted saying by Astro Awani.
Mohd Amar added that the state chooses to use underground water over riverwater because the latter is muddy.
He also pointed out that water from underground only looks cloudy after chlorine treatment because of its high iron content.
“It’s not dirty water, but clean and safe water to drink but this is what we have to deal with.
“If we make a reservoir pool, we can store water and from it we can drain it to the necessary areas,” Mohd Amar reportedly said.
He said that the Ministry of Environment and Water — whose minister Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Amn is also from PAS — has greenlighted the state’s proposal to build Kelantan’s largest water reservoir in Machang.
He added that the project was submitted two years ago and was included in the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) this year.
Mohd Amar said that the RM7 billion reservoir pool may solve the state’s water problem and explained that the high cost is due to rising building materials and the current economic state.
“In 2022, the financial need for this project is increasing because we see the demand for water going up due to an increasing population,” said Amar.
He clarified that the project involves the construction of a new water treatment plan (LRA), reservoir pond, and conversion of old pipes to new ones of around 5,000 km in length.
Previously, a non-governmental organisation named Save Kelantan had questioned the state for the RM7 billion cost of the project.