In response to a request from Johor, Singapore’s Public Utilities Board (PUB), its National Water Agency, supplied additional treated water over the past week. The request was made due to a disruption in production because of pollution to the river catchment.
The PUB said on Sunday, January 6, that 6 million gallons daily (mgd) of treated water was additionally supplied to Johor from January 2 to 4, in addition to the regular supply of 16 million gallons daily, according to The Straits Times.
“At Johor’s request, PUB helped to tide Johor residents over the water supply disruption by turning on PUB’s Pasir Gudang offtake and supplying an additional six millions of gallons per day (mgd) of treated water between Jan 2 and Jan 4, 2019,” said a spokesman for the PUB.
The water agency also assured the public that its Johor River Waterworks remained unaffected by the pollution that had affected the water facilities in Johor.
Under the 1962 Water Agreement between Singapore and Malaysia, the former country is obligated to provide 5 mgd of treated water to Johor but has in actuality been supplying 6 mgd of treated water, in compliance with Johor’s request.
In 2018, Singapore supplied even greater amounts to Johor for 20 days, when requested by Johor. The PUB has stated that while the price of 50 sen per 1,000 gallons charged for the treated water under the 1962 agreement only reflects a small portion of the actual cost of water treatment, this charge was still made on a “goodwill basis.”
The PUB also mentioned that the water agencies of the two countries have worked harmoniously together for many years now. “PUB has thus far been responsive in assisting Johor residents to reduce the impact of their water disruptions, in the spirit of good neighbourliness.”
It was reported in Malaysian daily The Star last week that activities from a sand-mining company along Sungai Johor had caused pollution that led to a disruption in a water treatment facility at the Semangar plant in Johor, according to International Trade, Investment and Utilities Committee chairman Jimmy Puah. Three thousand households in Taman Desa Tebrau, as well as adjacent sites in Johor Baru, were affected by the water disruption on New Year’s Day. But by January 3, water services had been restored.