State govt committed to 100 pct water and electricity coverage by 2025

Water. — file pic. // Photo: Pixabay

KUCHING, May 17: The Ministry of Utilities is committed to increasing the state’s coverage of both water and electricity supply to 100 per cent by the year 2025.

In a statement today, it gave assurance that the Sarawak government is aggressively implementing water and electricity supply projects to improve existing services as well as to increase coverage in rural areas.

The ministry revealed its Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom together with all the agencies under the ministry, are continually striving to do their best for the benefit of all the rakyat. The ministry’s policies are to ensure quality, reliable, efficient and affordable water and electricity supplies to the people of Sarawak.

“The Sarawak government has developed the water supply and rural electricity supply master plans to chart the implementation of these utilities in a holistic and systematic manner for the benefit of the people. These plans will cater for the changing needs of the communities for access to these basic utilities of water and electricity supplies.”

The ministry also asserted that the Sarawak Water Supply Master Plan and Water Grid is a holistic approach for sustainable development of raw and treated water facilities.

It explained that among its strategies include the implementation of water grid, utilisation of the downstream of hydro-electric power (HEP) dams as a source of raw water as well as other raw water source development, implementation of Sarawak Alternative Rural Water Supply (SAWAS) Programme, improving the reliability of water supply system, implementing Non-Revenue Water (NRW) Reduction Programme, and embracing modernization and digitalization.

“The rural electricity master plan aims to supply through various connection schemes to achieve full 24-hour coverage for all rural communities throughout Sarawak.

“Rural communities with accessibility will be connected to the power grid system and communities in remote parts of Sarawak without accessibility will be supplied through stand-alone renewable solar or mini-hydro systems under the Sarawak Alternative Rural Electrification Scheme (Sares),” it added.

The water grid proposal covers both raw and treated water, whereby the raw water grid will involve river water abstraction, raw water basin transfer, new water supply dams as well as harnessing water downstream of HEP dams through natural rivers and canals.

The ministry indicated that the proposed treated water grid will also traverse Sarawak from the south to the north, linking water treatment facilities along the way to form a continuous water grid.

New pipelines will be laid to fill the existing missing links, improving connectivity and resilience of the water supply infrastructure, and at the same time, the existing undersized trunk mains will have to be upgraded too.

“The proposed new water supply schemes and the water grid identified in the Master Plan will be put forward for funding for implementation under the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP).

“With the government’s aggressive push for digital economy, digitalisation such as the Internet of Things (IoT) is innovatively adopted in the water and electricity supply services, and by increasing the digital consumer base and promoting digital engagement and interaction, consumers can benefit from enhanced and added value services.

“Digitalised interactive applications include digital bills, online payment and services applications, automated leakage and interruption alerts and one utility bill as more areas will be covered digitally. The water and power supply authorities can capitalize on the deployment of remote sensing and on-the-ground technologies to make data analytics as part of their decision-making process,” the ministry added. — DayakDaily