Intensive cloud seeding in the works to force rain

Intensive cloud seeding in the works to force rain

ALOR SETAR: Cloud-seeding is to be intensified this month over water catchments and dams nationwide as the drought brought on by the El Nino phenomenon continues.

Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Madius Tangau said today cloud-seeding had to be carried out daily as the cumulus clouds conducive for the purpose were still present.

“It is critical for us to increase the volume of water in the dams and catchments in a short time,” he said, adding that there would be no cumulus clouds during the South-West Monsoon from June to September.

The country had only received 16% of the usual rainfall and there was an urgent need for cloud-seeding, he said at the launch of a ministry science carnival at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Jerlun.

In Ipoh, the Perak government has agreed to channel water from the Bukit Merah Dam to drought-hit agricultural areas in Selinsing and Gunung Semanggol from Sunday.

State Public Amenities, Infrastructure, Energy and Water Committee Chairman Zainol Fadzi Paharudin said the decision was taken at a meeting on the rescheduling of irrigation water, chaired by Kerian Integrated Agriculture Development Area (IADA) Director Zahimi Hassan.

He also said that IADA would request the Meteorological Department to continue cloud-seeding operations in the catchments until the water in the Bukit Merah Dam reached 7.62m from the warning level of 7.01m.

In Nibong Tebal, the Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) asked the Federal Government to gazette rainwater catchments to avert a water supply crisis during drought.

Chief executive officer Jaseni Maidinsa said it would be futile to build large dams if there were no gazetted water catchments to supply the raw water.


Bukit Merah won’t be declared disaster area for now

Bukit Merah won’t be declared disaster area for now

PUTRAJAYA: The government said today it has opted against declaring drought-hit Bukit Merah in Perak a disaster area for now due to legal and financial implications, but will immediately implement relief measures.

Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the government was considering several relief measures including installing water mains to the lake, deepening the lake and raising the mooring area.

Speaking to reporters after chairing a meeting of the High-Level Committee on Disaster Management, he said the Perak Government had applied to the Federal Government to declare Bukit Merah a disaster area.

Zahid said today’s meeting also discussed an application from the Perak Government to immediately resolve the problem in the Kerian district which faced a critical shortage of water for agriculture and daily consumption.

“These proposals will be scrutinised by the Technical Committee and we will act immediately,” he said, adding that the technical committee would be chaired by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Shahidan Kassim.