Have you been experiencing discomfort from the hot and dry spell that has hit our country?
Well, we say you best prepare for more scorching times ahead.
According to a report by The Star Online, the hot and dry season has begun and is expected to last until end of August because the country is smack in the active phase of the south-west monsoon. The daily quoted Malaysian Meteorological (MetMalaysia) Department’s National Weather Centre senior meteorologist Dr Hisham Mohd Anip, who said that “it is normal to have this kind of weather during this period”.
In its weather bulletin for May, MetMalaysia noted that most areas in Malaysia recorded average higher temperatures than the long-term average for the month. Its stations were recording daytime temperatures ranging between 33°C and 35°C.
To put this into perspective, the temperatures recorded between February and March were soaring as high as 37°C to 38°C.
According to Dr Hisham, it’s normal for most parts of the country to receive less rainfall during this season, except for Sabah and northern states of the peninsula. On top of that, Dr Hisham also added that as the season progressed, the haze was expected to return.
In another report, also by The Star Online, Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (SYABAS) has warned that taps in Klang Valley may run dry again with the mercury set to rise even further in July and August. SYABAS’ Corporate Communications and Public Affairs manager Priscilla Alfred revealed that although most dams in Selangor were above 70% capacity this was no guarantee against supply disruptions.
According to the Selangor Water Management Authority (Luas), the water level at the Semenyih dam is at 100% while at Tasik Subang it is at 99.38%.
“We can’t drink the water from the dams. It needs to be treated and treatment plants are already operating at maximum capacity,” said Priscilla. She added that despite the high levels at the dams, several areas in the Hulu Langat district were facing supply shortages because demand exceeded supply, and Syabas could not rule out the possibility of supply disruptions during Hari Raya next month.
“It’s usual for usage to increase this time of year because of the hot season. So it is best for consumers to be prudent in using water during this time,” she said.
Meanwhile, water levels in 2 of the 15 dams in Johor have dropped after the prolonged hot weather.
Syarikat Air Johor (SAJ) Holdings corporate communications chief Jamaluddin Jamil said the Sungai Lebam dam has been at critical levels over the past 2 – 3 months. However, he assured The Star that they’ve been able to produce sufficient water for residents in Pengerang and certain parts of Kota Tinggi, and will be able to draw normal supply of raw water for another 3 months at the current level.
He said that water level at the Sungai Layang dam was also quite worrying, adding that there was some rainfall over Johor recently but not over the catchment areas.
Johor Public Works, Rural and Regional Development committee chairman Datuk Hasni Mohamad said that the state has been consistently monitoring all dams to ensure sufficient supply for the festive season. Hasni added that tankers would be sent out or water transferred from nearby dams if the dry weather persists.
“Water rationing is unlikely unless the situation worsens,” he said.
Just our luck that our festive seasons always falls on the hottest months in Malaysia. Be prudent in using water, peeps, and hopefully we won’t have to go through yet another bout of water disruption again. And while you’re at it, limit outdoor activities especially during midday when the sun is hottest so that you won’t end up falling sick!