CAMERON HIGHLANDS: The National Hydraulic Research Institute of Malaysia (NAHRIM) has invented a gadget to monitor water movement, detect flood alerts and intrusions. Known as Intelligent River Guard (INTRiGUARD), it is the first equipment to be used in rivers in the country with Sungai Bertam being the first testing ground. For a start, 300 markers costing RM1 million will be planted 20 metres from the river within six months and increased to 2,000 by two years. Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob who launched the Sungai Bertam Catchment Preservation Programme, a joint effort by Pahang Water Authority, Cameron Highlands local district council, Cameron Highlands district and land office and Tenaga Nasional said the markers will also be placed at tributaries of Sungai Bertam from Gunung Brinchang to Tasek Ringlet. He said the proposed next site will be in Janda Baik as they need to monitor rivers there due to illegal and legal agriculture activities, NAHRIM came out with the invention after a one and a half year research, which won a gold medal in Korea and awards at the national innovation competition in Malaysia. Thirty markers are fixed in Tasik Chinni, Pahang due to many developments taking place in the area with the lake to be preserved as a tourist sport. Adnan said the markers will be able to set a temporary benchmark for survey work, maintenance, enhance the controlling system, detect flood prone areas management and enforcement aspects on the river reserves besides ensuring water in river are clean as water from Sungai Bertam eventually flows into Sungai Pahang. "Water quality in Cameron Highlands is getting better and we want to achieve the First Class status from the present Class Two," he said, adding that the water quality had improved since the crackdown on illegal activities. Adnan said operations are still ongoing to weed out illegal cultivation and land clearing.