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Membrane technology costly and won’t increase water supply

The Selangor Government’s proposal to use membrane technology to solve the water shortage problem has been dismissed as impractical.

“I have consulted engineering experts from Kettha (Energy, Water and Green Technology Ministry).

“The technology improves water quality but it does not increase water supply. But the quality of our raw water is already good and recognised by international bodies,” said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

He added that not only was membrane technology costly to implement, but it would also fail to increase water supply.

“The cost of implementing the technology is about RM95mil per treatment plant, and if it is used on all 34 plants it would be around RM3bil. This is not the solution,” said Muhyiddin after a visit to the Langat 2 treatment plant site yesterday.

Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim had earlier said he wanted to discuss with Muhyiddin on a proposal from a Canadian company on membrane technology to solve the impending water crisis and at the same time cost a fraction of the bill for Langat 2.

Muhyiddin, who chairs a special committee to monitor the Selangor-Kuala Lumpur-Putrajaya water crisis, also visited the Pahang-Selangor raw water transfer tunnel site and the Selangor River dam yesterday.

The Selangor River dam, said Muhyiddin, could still supply water to accommodate the demand of the people in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Putrajaya for the next few years.

“Experts have predicted that by 2016, Selangor will face a critical water shortage situation. Demand for water will increase by 3.5 per cent to 4 per cent every year and we are afraid the water reserve at the dam cannot provide enough by then,” he said.

Muhyiddin also said the progress of the water transfer project was moving ahead of schedule and it is expected to be completed in 2014.

“The Langat 2 Treatment plant is meant to treat the raw water that is transferred from Pahang.

“That is why we urge the state government not to waste time and issue the development order for the plant. It is already two years behind schedule and our reserve levels are running low,” he said.

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