Utility Ministry studies to set up State Water Authority as body corporate, propose models for single water entity

Follow and subscribe to DayakDaily on Telegram for faster news updates.

KUCHING, Jan 14: The Utility Ministry is conducting a study to set up the State Water Authority (SWA) as a body corporate and propose suitable models for Sarawak’s single water entity.

Minister of Utility and Telecommunication Datuk Julaihi Narawi said the study is for more proactive supervision and holistic management of water resources and water supply to be implemented for a sustainable environment and provision of safe water supply.

“The Water Ordinance 1994 stipulates that the State Water Authority (SWA) has general control and supervision of all water supply authorities and the management of all water resources and water catchment areas in the State.

“Currently, the SWA is in the person of the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Utility and Telecommunication.

“There is no dedicated organisational set-up for SWA to execute the regulatory functions effectively and efficiently, although some of the functions had been delegated to the agencies,” he said.

While Sarawak Rural Water Supply Department (JBALB), Kuching Water Board (KWB), Sibu Water Board (SWB) and Laku Management Sdn Bhd (LAKU) remain as the water supply authorities in Sarawak, he added the establishment of an integrated entity could increase operational effectiveness, efficiency and financial sustainability.

Meanwhile, Julaihi also said the ministry has embarked on implementing the Statewide Water Grid under the 12th Malaysia Plan, other than the Sarawak Alternative Water Supply (SAWAS) programme.

“Over the next few years, we will also embark on a new chapter to modernise our current utility infrastructure in line with the Digital Transformation agenda.

“This will include enhancing the metering system in the utility sector amongst others,” he said in a statement today.

Towards realising the aspiration to be a developed State by 2030, Julaihi urged all agencies under the ministry to work closely together to provide resilient, effective, and efficient utility services throughout Sarawak. — DayakDaily