The Kedah government is now looking to construct a second submarine water pipeline from the mainland to Langkawi.
The intake of treated water from the mainland near Sungai Baru in Perlis is currently being delivered via a 35km submarine pipeline to a terminal reservoir on Langkawi island, which has the capacity to supply 55 million litres of treated water per day.
Deputy Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid told The Edge Financial Daily at parliament yesterday that the second proposed submarine pipeline would provide an additional 50 million litres of treated water per day to Langkawi.
He said the water reserves for Langkawi were enough for now, but might not be sufficient to support new developments after 2020.
“We are looking at the future water supply needs of Langkawi and [plan to start] works next year or by 2016,” said Mahdzir, a former menteri besar of Kedah.
He said construction on the new submarine pipeline was expected to take about three years and commissioning was expected by 2019.
Before the project kicked off, Mahdzir said both the federal and state governments would have to come to an agreement on the terms and conditions to migrate Kedah’s water assets under Pengurusan Aset Air Bhd (PAAB).
Earlier, when responding to a question posed by Langkawi member of parliament Datuk Nawawi Ahmad, Mahdzir said the construction of the new submarine pipeline had yet to kick off pending the decision of the Kedah government.
Mahdzir said Langkawi currently had five water treatment plants, including its existing submarine pipeline, that had a combined capacity to supply up to 80 million litres per day.
In the debate on the issue, Nawawi urged the ministry to come up with a long-term solution as the island was a tourism haven and looked to attract over three million tourists this year.
He also warned that if the matter was not dealt with early, it could escalate to a water crisis like in Selangor. Water was rationed in Selangor for a few months this year due to dangerously low water reserves and the slow process to restructure its water assets.