World Water Day 2022: Julaihi urges stakeholders to work together to manage water resources effectively

Julaihi (centre) and others at the World Water Day 2022 celebration in Kuching. Photo credit: Ukas

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KUCHING, March 23: Minister of Utilities and Telecommunications Datuk Julaihi Narawi calls on all parties involved in water resource activities to collaborate to ensure the effective implementation of integrated water resource management.

“This approach is critical for promoting coordinated development and management of water, land, and related resources so that they can be used to maximise economic and social well-being equitably while also ensuring the long-term sustainability of our ecosystems.

“Furthermore, it contributes to the long-term viability of our water resources, which supports the country’s economic development agenda and the well-being of its people not only now, but also for future generations,” he said during the opening ceremony of World Water Day 2022 yesterday in Kuching, according to a Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas report).

Julaihi added that one of the initiatives under the Post Covid-19 Development Strategy (PCDS) 2030 was to increase the reliability and resilience of Sarawak’s water supply through the implementation of the Sarawak Water Supply Grid, which connects the State’s water supply system from south to north.

“This grid will connect the water supply system from south to north, where the identified raw water sources are all surface sources that can meet water demand until 2070,” he explained.

Julaihi went on to say that World Water Day is a platform which can raise awareness and renew the determination of all levels of society to address water-related issues, which is accomplished through the implementation of strategic plans and actions by every country around the world.

“This celebration also aims to meet the Sustainable Development Goal launched in 2015 by the United Nations, which is to ensure that every individual has access to clean water by 2030,” he added.

He believed that this year’s theme of ‘Groundwater—Making the Invisible Visible,’ with a special focus on groundwater resources, is consistent with the government’s efforts to ensure that water resources are always sufficient and safe to drink, while ensuring water supply is available to all consumer sectors, such as domestic, industrial, and agricultural.

“Groundwater can be used as an alternative water source if it is available at a location and the abstraction is done through the right method and does not affect the environment,” he said.

Also present at the programme were Deputy Minister of Utilities and Telecommunications (Telecommunications) Datuk Liwan Lagang, Deputy Minister of Utilities and Telecommunications (Utilities) Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi, Batu Kitang assemblyman Lo Khere Chiang, Ministry of Utilities and Telecommunications Sarawak permanent secretary Dato Alice Jawan Empaling, Sarawak Rural Water Supply Department director Chang Kuet Shian, and Kuching Water Board general manager Rodziah Mohamad. — DayakDaily