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Cloud seeding needed despite recent rainfall, says Penang water authority

22 May 2020 / 12:10 H.

GEORGE TOWN: Penang needs a second round of cloud seeding to induce rainfall at key catchment areas despite the current rainy spell which has caused flash floods in some parts of the state.

Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) chief executive officer Datuk Jaseni Maidinsa said the first phase of cloud seeding operations carried out over Kedah and Penang between April 25 and May 21 was successful as water levels at some dams rose.

The Air Itam Dam’s effective capacity increased by 11.6%.

However, the Teluk Bahang Dam’s effective capacity only increased by 1.0%, Jaseni said in a statement.

Hence, PBAPP will seek another round of cloud seeding next month.

Generally, Jaseni said the cloud seeding has been successful, but more can be done to ensure that there is adequate water supply for the state.

The maximum effective capacity of the Air Itam Dam is 2.16 billion litres while the maximum effective capacity of the Teluk Bahang Dam is 18.24 billion litres.

The dam in Teluk Bahang is bigger.

Its maximum effective capacity is 8.4 times more than the effective capacity of the Air Itam Dam.

Significantly more rainfall is required to refill the Teluk Bahang Dam.

Next month offers a promising window of opportunity for maximising rainfall over Penang’s water catchment areas, Jaseni said.

He noted that thunderstorms and rainy days have been in the forecast, predicting the presence of rain clouds.

However, the volume of rainfall is unpredictable.

It would be prudent to implement cloud seeding to maximise rainfall yield when the conditions are favourable.

Looking ahead, Penang and PBAPP must also prepare for the next dry season, which will occur from the beginning of 2021.

“We must take advantage of every available opportunity to refill the Air Itam Dam and Teluk Bahang Dam from now,” he said. -Bernama

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