PUTRAJAYA: The Ministry of Environment and Water (Kasa) is using structural and non-structural approaches to address the issue of pollution of water resources, said its Minister, Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man. (pix)

He said as for the structural approach, Kasa, through the Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID), has created the Integrated River Basin Management (IRBM) plan which emphasises four aspects, namely, ensuring water adequacy, water cleanliness, lack of flood risk and environmental sustainability.

The DID also published the Environmentally Friendly Drainage Manual in 2000, which is a control method at the source level involving quantity control (flash floods) and quality control (pollution), which is a condition for approval of a development involving drainage infrastructure by all federal, state and private agencies, he said.

Tuan Ibrahim said this while officiating the 4th Malaysia-The Netherlands Water Dialogue Programme 2021, virtually today, in conjunction with the Malaysia International Water Convention 2021 (MIWC 2021).

As for the non-structural approach, Kasa emphasises cultivating awareness and changing the community’s attitude towards the care of water resources based on the principle of nature-based solutions, he said.

“This approach also involves community togetherness more comprehensively. For example, Kasa is developing and maintaining a river trail which has now reached 200 kilometres (km) and is working to reach the target of 5,000 km by 2025,” he said.

Tuan Ibrahim said that Kasa would increase enforcement activities using the latest technological devices, as well as strengthening volunteer activities as a measure to conserve the environment and water resources.

He said that the Environmental Quality Act 1974 and the Water Services Industry Act 2006 would also be amended as a punitive or final measure against environmental criminals.

Amendments to the two laws are expected to be tabled in Parliament in 2022, with the amount of fines and prison terms to be increased in proportion to the adverse impact on the lives of the people, and the country’s economic loss, he said.