Johor starts water rationing
Dry spell in Malaysia leads to water woes
First, the prolonged dry spell.
Now, Malaysia faces a massive water crisis as the full impact of El Nino hits the country.
The National Water Services Commission said urgent measures are needed to remind the public to stop wasting and start conserving water.
The prolonged hot and dry spell is impacting different parts of the country in different ways.
The worst hit will be 85,000 domestic and industrial consumers in parts of Johor when rationing starts tomorrow, The Star reported.
It will continue till May 15.
This is because output from four water treatment plants in the Kota Tinggi and Mersing districts have reached critical levels.
During the period of rationing, water supply will run normally for one day in the affected areas followed by no water supply for the next two days.
Water levels in the Linggiu Reservoir in Johor, which helps to meet half of Singapore's water needs, have fallen to a new historic low.
HEATWAVE: A dried-up Sungai Golok, a dam in Johor with dropping water levels (above ) and water rationing taking place. PHOTOS: THE STAR
The reservoir is just over one-third full.
Last October, water levels in the reservoir had already reached a low of 41 per cent, but they have since fallen further to 36.9 per cent.
These levels are far below the 80 per cent the reservoir had at the start of last year.
HEATWAVE: A dried-up Sungai Golok, a dam in Johor with dropping water levels and water rationing (above) taking place. PHOTOS: THE STAR
Meanwhile in Pahang, the water level in rivers has dropped drastically, making it difficult for treatment plants in three districts to get raw water.
In Malacca, Chief Minister Idris Haron said the state will have to consider water rationing if the dry spell continues. For now, there is enough water in all three major dams.
Up north, near the Perak-Thai border, an entire lake has all but "disappeared".
The man-made Tasik Takong, in the Takong Recreational Park, used to be a popular spot for anglers, picnickers and tourists.
In Rantau Panjang, the border town Sungai Golok, which divides Kelantan and Thailand, is now easier to cross without the need for any travel documents - the dry weather has turned the river into a stream.
People can easily walk across in some parts.
In Kangar, capital of Perlis, cows were seen grazing in the Timah Tasoh Dam, which saw water levels dipping below the critical level.
A village road that was submerged when the dam was built over two decades ago is now usable again.
In Sabah, villagers on Banggi Island have resorted to digging into dry riverbeds while others are relying on wells and springs, which are also drying up.
Penang's state-owned water corporation, PBA Holdings Bhd, urged the federal government to instruct all water authorities to stop irrigation of paddy fields, especially in the northern region, until the rains return.