About 41,000 people in the Balung state constituency are currently facing a critical water shortage that requires a comprehensive solution. -- Photo courtesy of Tawau Water Department

TAWAU: About 41,000 people in the Balung state constituency are currently facing a critical water shortage that requires a comprehensive solution.

Balung assemblyman Datuk Osman Jamal said the current capacity of the existing water plants to supply water to the Balung state constituency was inadequate that resulted in the implementation of water rationing.

“I hope the federal government to provide funding through the Ministry of Rural Development to develop some of the proposed infrastructure to meet the water needs of the residents in the constituency.

“According to the information from the Water Department in Tawau, the current water supply falls 16 million litres short of meeting the daily demand and the situation worsens with a drop of water level in the river,” he told reporters here today.

He said the shortage of water supply to the local population meant that water rationing exercise would continue until 2022 and this would have many implications.

“No need to talk about water supply for the tourism industry if we don’t even have enough to meet the needs of the local population, the residents are now facing critical water shortage as the we didn’t receive any supply for the past three days,” he added.

Osman said among the short-term proposals mooted by the state government to address water shortage in Balung include the installation of water tanks and pumps in Ranggu, Queen Hill and Kongsi 10.

Meanwhile, the long term solution was to increase the capacity of water treatment plants in Utara and Cinta Mata of up to 50 million litres daily.

“The dam needs to be built to increase the water capacity as soon as possible and we are also proposing a water plant to be constructed at Sungai Apas Batu 15 for the same purpose,” he said. -- Bernama