Fadillah: 70% of Malaysian rivers are categorized as ‘clean’

Datuk seri Fadillah Yosof says that 72% of the rivers in Malaysia are classified as “clean”.

This percentage is 486 of the 672 river surveyed by the Environmental Department, according to the Minister for Energy Transition and Water Transformation.

He told reporters that “161 rivers are moderate (24%) and the other 25 rivers are polluted (4%)” on June 6, after he chaired the first meeting the Special Committee against water quality degradation.

Fadillah stated that the special committee has been established to focus on the water management after the decision was made by Datuk Seri Ibrahim, Prime Minister at the Fifth National Water Council Meeting.

This special committee has an important role to play in ensuring that the management and implementation of strategies for improving river water quality is done in a coordinated manner.

He said that the committee would also serve as a forum for exchanging information and best practices relating to improving river water quality.

According to data provided by the Deputy Premier, Johor is the state with the most polluted rivers. Nine of the nine are in the category of moderate or polluted.

Sungai Segget (Class III), Sungai Tampoi, Sungai Danga and Sungai Segget are all rivers that fall into the “moderate category”.

Sungai Buluh, Sungai Tukang Batu, Sungai Kempas, Sungai Pandan and Sungai Sengkuang are listed as “polluted” (Class IV).

Fadillah added that Penang has 3 “moderate” rivers and 1 “polluted”.

The main sources of pollution include industrial wastes, sewage plants and agriculture.

Fadillah said Artificial Intelligence technology (AI) will be used to improve river quality monitoring throughout the country. She added that the National Water Research Institute of Malaysia will lead this initiative.

“Nahrim developed a Smart AI System (Airs) for the Rating and Classification of Rivers In Malaysia. He added that the system could be used by all parties in river basins to monitor water quality.

Other agencies, including representatives of the state exco and state water regulatory authorities, also attended.

Fadillah also commented separately on the issue of non-revenue (NRW), saying that the Federal Government would continue to work with the state governments to upgrade water pipes within their jurisdictions.

The Federal Government will offer assistance to states in the form of grants or loans to repair old water pipes, as NRW losses are primarily due to poor piping.

He said that illegal extensions of water supplies are another factor. State governments should take action based on the existing laws in their states.

Fadillah stated in May that NRW problems across the country cause losses of more than RM2bil per year.

NRW is water that is produced, but lost before it reaches its customers.

In January, the NRW at the national level was 37.2%.

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