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Gov't drafting new regulations, laws on use of groundwater resources

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The Water, Land and Natural Resources Ministry is drafting new regulations and laws on the use of groundwater resources to ensure that the supply can be utilised well by all parties in the long run.

Its minister, Dr Xavier Jayakumar said the country was estimated to have groundwater reserves of five trillion cubic metres, with only around three per cent being used, mostly involving the industrial sector.

Hence, he said the Mineral and Geoscience Department was studying the best way to exploit groundwater resources, especially in helping the country face dry spells in the future.

"We have no specific guidelines or legislation on the use of groundwater resources, but it is not new as Kelantan has used groundwater to be channelled to domestic consumers and Selangor is channelling it to the industrial sector.

"My priority (with respect to the use of groundwater resources) is due to climate change that can lead to drought in the future. Since we have an abundance of groundwater resources, it should be used properly, because we do not want any further problems," he told reporters after opening the National Groundwater Conference 2019 in Shah Alam today.

He explained that the new rules and legislation were expected to be tabled to the cabinet in the near future, with its enforcement set to increase the utilisation of groundwater resources to around 20 percent.

Xavier said that in order to achieve this goal, the ministry will work with the Japanese government to adopt the technology used to map underground resources.

"I met with the minister involved myself during a recent visit to Japan, and he agreed to help us map out our groundwater resources," he added.

- Bernama

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