Kota Kinabalu:. The recent statements by the state government on the necessity of Kaiduan dam is well-timed.
Former Water Department Director, Datuk Ir. Amarjit Singh said that there has been irregularity in water supply in Tuaran and Kota Kinabalu district for quite some time.
"The insufficient supply of water in those 2 areas are mainly caused by either rampant water theft and unsuitable water quality during heavy downpour which increases the NTU of water and conventional water plants are unable to treat," said Amarjit.
In relation to that, Amarjit suggests that storage of raw water is required be it on upstream, midstream or downstream to solve the long prolong treated water supply problem.
"Tuaran and Kota Kinabalu consumption demand is approximately 400 MLD and with non accounted water at 50%, the necessity for storage is fundamentally required. If we decide to build a storage upstream than it is called a dam, midstream is called off river storage and downstream is referred as coastal reservoirs," he said.
He also said that whatever engineering mechanism is preferred by the government, a detailed feasibility study is needed to address issues such as hydrology, geology, hydraulic, sociology, environmental study, social impact and many more before a conclusion is made of the type of storage to be built.
"Only than the type of dam or reservoir can be determined plus all its ancillary structures that will operate as a unit to sustain the operation of a good water supply."
On another content, Amarjit said that flood issues especially in Penampang areas is not significantly co-related with the dam overflows as all dam designs are equipped with a spillway that will channeled water safely into the basin.
"What causes flood is the unplanned human activities downstream and unsustainable development which hinders the natural surface water either to percolate in the ground or safely being transported by open channels or drains to the sea. All these can be solved by proper water resources management and participants of all relevant agencies," he said.