January 13, 2012
Think water conservation
I REFER to “Water industry loses half of total revenue to NRW in 2010, study
reveals” (The Star, Jan 6).
It is mind-boggling to see that half the total revenue in the water industry flows
down the drain due to high non-revenue water (NRW).
As it is just an estimated amount of loss, the outcome of the study clearly shows
that our water industry is struggling to overcome the NRW issue, especially for those which have not migrated to
the new licensing regime.
Instead of pointing fingers at the regulator, we as consumers should ask ourselves
whether we have done enough to improve the situation and conserve water in our daily lives.
For instance, a pipe is leaking outside the premises and the owner chooses to
ignore it as it is not going through the meter and, therefore, he/she is not billed for the lost water.
A study conducted by Fomca from 2007 to 2010 revealed that 70% of those surveyed
say they are not likely or very not likely to reduce their water usage at home for the next three years. It shows
that awareness of the rakyat on water issues is still very low.
Therefore, continuous public awareness and education play a major role in the
effort to make our water industry more sustainable.
As for the regulator, a clear action plan and roadmap must be in place to achieve
the targeted 25% NRW by the year 2020, and be coherently supported by policymakers and water industry
At the same time, a holistic benchmarking activity should be carried out on all
water industry players to ensure that once the action plan and roadmap are implemented, the industry has the
competence and ample human resources to tackle this highly technical issue.
Key performance indices must be set for all water industry players and the
regulator must monitor as well as respond accordingly.
Water resources and supply play a major role in ensuring that our country achieves
high income status by 2020. Without concerted efforts and dedication from all stakeholders, the aspiration will
remain a dream.
FOON WENG LIAN,
Forum Air Malaysia.
Source: The Star