Zambry: Perak's water catchment areas increased to 295,401ha

IPOH: The Perak government has managed to increase the total size of the state's water catchment areas to 295,401ha over a 10-year period.

Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir (pix) said this showed an increase of 54 per cent from the forest water catchment areas of 159,866ha gazetted in 2007.

"In 2016, the total water catchment area size approved by the state executive council was 295,401ha, up by 54%.

"But this (increased area) has not been gazetted yet," he told this to reporters after opening the state-level World Water Day 2017 celebration, here, today.

Zambry said the measure was taken to ensure the creation of an integrated ecosystem, hence increasing the number of water catchment areas in Perak.

"It is a big step taken by the state government to portray our seriousness in ensuring sustainable and balanced development. This is because we don't want to just focus on physical development without taking into account conservation and sustainability.

"Perak has the longest river (in the peninsula) at 9,000km, hence the measure could also prevent floods in areas along the river," he said.

According to him, the state government had also undertaken integrated measures in creating a good ecosystem to ensure clean water sources.

"In the policies we make, we will involve all departments including the Forestry Department, Agriculture Department and the Perak Water Board. "We will also not compromise with any party found to dispose of effluent and other wastes into the rivers or sea. Although the situation is under control, we are always monitoring," he said.

Earlier, in his speech, Zambry said the people should be grateful and appreciate water, and not take it for granted, as shortage of it could create various problems. Hence, water sources need to be protected.

He said the state government would always look for effective means to protect the forests and rivers to ensure sufficient water supply all the time.

"Currently, almost 50% of the state's forests are permanent forest reserves and we target it to increase to 50% for a balance between development and environmental protection.

"We are managing it (water) well. The Perak Water Board is among the best in the country in managing water," he added. — Bernama