23rd April 2017
by Dato’ Ir. Jaseni Maidinsa,
Chief Executive Officer, PBA Holdings Bhd (PBAHB)
and Perbadanan Bekalan Air Pulau Pinang Sdn Bhd (PBAPP)
PENANG, Sunday, 23/4/2017: The people of Penang must reduce their domestic water consumption by 10% in 2017 to ensure water supply sufficiency until 2020.
In 2016, the per capita domestic consumption in Penang was 286 litres/capita/day (l/c/d). Although there was a drop of 5 l/c/d as compared to 291 l/c/d for 2015, Penang’s per capita domestic consumption was still the highest in Malaysia in 2016.
286 l/c/d is 36.8% higher than the national average of 209 l/c/d. It is 93.2% higher than Singapore’s average of 148 l/c/d.
Last year, total water consumption in Penang amounted to 827 million litres per day (MLD). In 2006, it was 684 MLD. As such, in the past 10 years, our water consumption has increased by about 21%.
It should be noted that domestic consumption in Penang accounted for 59.4% of the total water consumption in 2016.
In other words, domestic consumers used more water than all the industries, hotels and commercial enterprises that operate in Penang. As such, a reduction in domestic consumption will have a large impact on water conservation in Penang.
Based on the 286 l/c/d statistic for 2016, a 10% reduction would amount to 28.6 litres per person per day. This would reduce per capita consumption to about 257 l/c/d.
The total reduction by 1.72 million people would amount to 49.2 MLD. If we subtract 49.2 MLD from our 2016 water consumption of 827 MLD, the result will be about 778 MLD.
Based on a 2.1% per year average consumption growth rate, Penang should consume 794 MLD in 2017, 811 MLD in 2018, 828 MLD in 2019 and 845 MLD in 2020.
The most compelling reason to save water at home is Penang’s high dependency on only 1 raw water resource: Sungai Muda. Sungai Muda can only meet Penang’s water demand until 2020 based on our current trend of high water consumption.
More than 80% of Penang’s raw water is abstracted from this river daily. Insofar as Sungai Muda is concerned, please note the following factors:
Penang’s average domestic water tariff for the first 35,000 litres per month is only RM0.32 per 1,000 litres. This is the lowest average domestic water tariff in Malaysia. The national average in Malaysia is RM0.70 per 1,000 litres, or 118% higher.
It cost PBAPP RM91 million in subsidies to sustain this people-friendly domestic tariff. Since PBAPP re-invests most of its operational profits in Penang every year, this RM91 million could have been allocated for water supply infrastructure projects to secure Penang’s future water supply.
The easiest and most convenient way for consumers to “automatically” save water is to install water saving devices, or WSDs, in their homes. WSDs are taps, shower heads, faucets, toilet flush systems, washing machines and dishwashers with special fittings that reduce water consumption.
PBAPP is asking for the Penang State Government to amend building bylaws to require mandatory installation of WSDs in all new development projects.
Dato’ Ir. Jaseni Maidinsa,
Chief Executive Officer,
PBA Holdings Bhd (PBAHB) and
Perbadanan Bekalan Air Pulau Pinang Sdn Bhd (PBAPP).