Demand for Clean Water Posed Challenges To Water Resource Management

By Iznee Isa
Photos by Izwan Azman

BANGI, 4 August 2017- Request for a clean drinking water has been steadily increasing and resulted in some unique challenges regarding the water supply, said Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) researcher, Prof Dr Md Pauzi Abdullah.

“We have to improve our lifestyle and waste disposal method to ensure the safety and sustainability of our water resources,” he said.

He was speaking at a Public Lecture titled ‘Drinking Water Quality: Challenges and Expectations’ at the UKM 2.0 Research Programme, recently.

He said the government’s main target is to produce clean water supply that is drinkable directly from the pipes.

“However, there are a few factors preventing this target to be achieved such as dirty pipelines.

“The water supplied is actually clean, but when it reached users, dirt from the water pipes caused the water to be unsafe to drink directly from the pipes,” he explained.

He also said his study found that from the total amount of water being supplied, only 40 percent of it reached consumers.

“The water disappeared along the way. This might be due to broken pipes,” he said.

Research conducted by his group also found the presence of various pharmaceutical components such as prescription drugs in surface water and in effluent sewage treatment plants.

“We are concerned that these unknown chemicals may have adverse effects on human health because the chlorination treatment technology is not capable of decomposing such chemicals,” he said.

He hoped water-related regulations will soon be implemented to prevent the entrance of these chemicals into the environment and improve the country’s water resources management.

Present at the lecture were Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research & Innovation Affairs, Prof Dr Mohd Ekhwan Toriman and Dean of Faculty of Science and Technology, Prof Dr Sahrim Ahmad.