Hike in non-revenue water due to no-rationing policy: PBAPP CEO

GEORGE TOWN: The increase in non-revenue water (NRW) is due to the no-water-rationing policy implemented by the Penang government.

Penang Water Corporation (PBAPP) CEO Datuk Jaseni Maidinsa (pix) said the water supply operator had been pumping treated water at higher pressures to ensure no water rationing during the dry season.

He said pumping water at higher pressure caused smaller distribution pipes which are outdated to burst or leak resulting in higher NRW losses.

He said PBAPP has implemented NRW management solutions including installing pressure reducing valves (PRVs) and replacing pipes and meters.

Jaseni pointed out the NRW percentage in Penang at 21.5% was the second lowest in Malaysia after Malacca at 19%, compared to the national average of 35.2%.

He said the increase from 18.3% in 2014 was not because of operational inefficiency but in implementing the no-water-rationing policy to address the challenges of climate change and long dry spells.

He said the policy of not having water rationing contributed to making Penang an attractive state for investors.

"One of the questions investors ask is about water supply, Penang guarantees good quality water 24/7, 365 days a year.

"It is more important to make sure people and factories have water round-the-clock," he said in a press conference today.

Jaseni was addressing criticism on the increase of NRW, but he pointed out that NRW had fluctuated between 16.9% and 23.9% since PBAPP was incorporated in 1999.