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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 players.

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

 

 

  
 
 
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