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.