Malaysia’s water resources have been the source for the socio-economic development of the country over the past decades. But of late, the situation of water supply has changed from one of relative abundance to one of scarcity. Growth in population and urbanization, industrialization and the growth of irrigated agriculture have increased demands and pressure on water resources, in addition to contributing to the increasing water pollution. The way to go ahead to a rich and sustainable future is to keep development to a point that is within the river basins’ carrying capacity, while protecting and restoring the environment.
The process of Malaysian water vision is carried out by both the Malaysian Water Partnership(MWP) and the Malaysian National Committee for Irrigation and Drainage (MANCID). MANCID has carried out sectoral consultations relating to water for food and rural development at regional and national levels. MWP is the national consultative body on the water sector and has carried out a sequence of national consultations on the water sector relating to the mapping of needs and the national water vision, global sectoral visions, the framework for action, gender and water, and the realization of the national water vision.
Malaysia receives annual rainfall of around 3000 mm on an average. Dams, pipelines and canals redirect water from rivers to maintain domestic, industrial and agricultural needs. Water management has become more comprehensive and complex because of large population, commercial activities and industries around the cities and towns, increasing water consumption and water pollution, and climate changes. Environmentalists and conservationists have to study the development of water resources to meet the increasing demand.
The purpose of the water vision is to move to a stage where future water needs are met and sustainable use of water is ensured. The process involves study, consultation and promotion that will develop knowledge at the national level, produce an agreement on a vision for water for the year 2025, increase consciousness on water issues among the people and decision-makers and create a framework for action. This framework will be the source for the development of an action plan to help move from the concept drawn in the vision to concrete results that will make a difference in the lives of the people.
Keeping Vision 2020 in mind, Malaysia will preserve and handle its water resources to make sure that everyone gets sufficient and safe. Such is the Malaysian vision for water in the 21st century.
The main objectives of the vision are:
- All have access to the use of safe, sufficient and affordable water, hygiene and sanitation.
- Provision of adequate water to support rural development and ensure national food security.
- Provision of adequate water to encourage and maintain economic growth in the framework of knowledge-based economy.
- Safeguarding water environment to conserve water resources and bio-diversity along with alleviation of water-related risks.
Last Updated on: 07-12-2009