Selangor Journal

Govt looks to turn water sector from welfare to investment by 2040 — Minister

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 22 — The government intends to turn the water sector from one of a welfare concern to one with an investment value by 2040, so water operators nationwide can start investing.

Natural Resources, Environment, and Climate Change (NRECC) Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said the ministry is actively implementing efforts towards this goal, but there are several issues which must be addressed first.

They include the issue of reducing the amount of non-renewable water (NRW) rate when the treated water does not reach the user’s account, up to almost 60 per cent.

Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad speaking during the question and answer session at Dewan Rakyat, Kuala Lumpur, on March 14, 2023. — Picture by BERNAMA

“The treated water in the plant does not reach the user’s account; either it is stolen, or a lot is leaking due to old pipes. The country’s average for NRW issues is around 35 per cent, but in some states, it is up to 60 per cent.

“This means that over half of what is treated does not reach (consumers), so we are trying to fix it, and we have also approved to facilitate grants for this NRW and repair to be accessed by the state water operators.

“That is the important thing we (can) do for the water sector,” he said as a guest on TV1’s Selamat Pagi Malaysia programme today, to discuss One Year with the Madani Government.

Apart from that, Nik Nazmi said the government’s efforts to achieve net-zero emissions as early as 2050 was one of the highest aspirations in the year he has led the ministry.

“We have a very ambitious energy transition target and set the country’s aspirations to achieve net-zero emissions in 2050, and this is our commitment to the 2015 Paris Agreement.

“About 80 per cent of electricity generation in our country depends on natural gas, and what’s worse is coal, so that is why what we have done today is the National Energy Transition Roadmap (NETR) to speed up the transition by 2050,” he said.

In the meantime, climate change, which is happening now, is something dynamic and not easy to deal with and requires comprehensive action from various parties.

“We need action to be implemented locally, either in the cities or at the state level, where they have the authority over land, forests and water resources, which is very significant and sometimes more powerful than the Federal government.

“There are also many international obligations, and there are constraints and pressure to set a very high standard among developing countries while forgetting that developed countries destroyed the environment a lot too, such as cutting forests and so on,” Nik Nazmi said.

The burden has been placed on developing countries; therefore, it requires a lot of contribution and support from developed countries, as they do not want to pursue climate change commitments but prey on the poor people in this country.

The NRECC is also one of those involved in the One Year with the Madani Government programme, which will take place from December 8 to December 10.

— Bernama

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